The conviction of a man sentenced to eight years in prison for vehicular homicide is being re-examined in light of the recent Toyota recalls for unintended acceleration. And a new inspection of the 1996 Toyota Camry responsible for the accident shows that a flaw in the cruise control may have forced the accelerator to remain open, causing the crash.
According to CNN, in 2006, Koua Fong Lee, then 29, was driving his family, including his pregnant wife, child, father, brother and niece, home from church when his Camry, going between 70 and 90 miles an hour, struck another two cars at a red light. The crash killed two people instantly; a third person was rendered paralyzed before eventually dying of her injuries.
Ever since the accident, Lee has maintained his innocence, claiming that he did everything he possibly could to slow the car down at the intersection by hitting the brakes, and that he was still pumping the brakes at the time of the crash.
"There is enough evidence now to support a new trial," said Robert Hilliard, the lawyer for Koua Fong Lee…"If the cruise control was working properly, it would allow the brakes to take over and the car to stop," said Hilliard.
Hilliard says his experts also found evidence from the brake light filaments that a "braking event" was occurring at the time of the collision. "It means that Mr. Lee had his foot on the brake as he testified," said Hilliard. –ABC News
Lee’s story drives home a heartbreaking lesson about just how many lives even one faulty vehicle can end or damage irreparably. After lying to the American public and covering up its problems with unintended acceleration for months, Toyota recalled millions.