A woman from Bellevue, Washington, who was charged with vehicular homicide for causing a fatal car crash that killed her passenger, fled to China with the help of a friend, evading a $2 million bail and sparking an international search by the police.
The woman, Ting Ye, 25, was driving at 90 mph in a 35 mph zone on October 24, 2023, when she lost control of her vehicle and crashed into a tree, according to the Bellevue Police Department. Her passenger, Yabao Liu, 29, who was also her co-worker at a local restaurant, died at the scene from severe injuries.
Ye had a blood alcohol level of 0.19, more than twice the legal limit, and admitted to drinking before driving, the police said. She was taken to the hospital for treatment and was discharged on October 25, 2023.
The King County Prosecutor’s Office charged Ye with vehicular homicide and set a $2 million bail for her, but she was not arrested or booked into jail because she was still receiving medical treatment. The police said they planned to arrest her once she was cleared by the doctors.
However, Ye managed to escape with the help of a friend who drove her to Vancouver, Canada, where she boarded a flight to Beijing on October 26, 2023. The police said they learned about her flight itinerary from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and contacted the Chinese authorities to request her arrest.
“We are working with our federal partners to locate her and bring her back to King County to face justice,” Detective Amanda Jensen of the Bellevue Police Department said in a statement.
However, the police face challenges because there is no extradition treaty between China and the United States. The police urged Ye to return voluntarily and face the consequences of her actions.
“She needs to come back here and face the consequences of her actions. She killed somebody. She needs to be held accountable,” Liu’s cousin, who did not want to be identified, told King5 News.
Liu’s cousin said Liu had moved to the United States from China two years ago and was working hard to support his family. He said Liu was a kind and generous person who did not deserve to die.
The King County Prosecutor’s Office said Ye’s case was one of the most egregious cases of vehicular homicide they had seen.
“This is one of the most egregious cases of vehicular homicide that I have seen in my career as a prosecutor,” Prosecutor Dan Satterberg said in a statement. “She showed a reckless disregard for human life and then fled the country to avoid responsibility.”
The prosecutor’s office spokesperson Casey McNerthney said they hoped Ye would have a conscience and do the right thing.
“We hope that she has a conscience and that she will do the right thing and return to King County,” McNerthney said.
Bellevue Police Chief Steve Mylett said it was a very unfortunate situation that someone who was responsible for taking someone’s life was not being held accountable for it.
“It’s a very unfortunate situation. We have somebody who is responsible for taking somebody’s life and they’re not being held accountable for it,” Mylett said.
– ‘It’s a very unfortunate situation’: Bellevue Vehicular Homicide suspect flees country, Yahoo News, October 28, 2023
– Woman charged with vehicular homicide for Bellevue deadly crash fled to China, King5, October 29, 2023
– Bellevue police launch international search for drunk driving suspect who fled to China after fatal crash, KOMO News, October 27, 2023
– Bellevue woman charged in fatal crash flees to China, Seattle Times, October 27, 2023