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Garbage Truck Driver Arrested After Fatal Crash

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The driver who hit and killed a professor from the Seoul Asan Medical Center’s Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery with a garbage truck is facing a criminal trial after a year.

According to Yonhap News on May 27, the 3rd Criminal Department of the Seoul Eastern District Prosecutor’s Office indicted a man in his late 60s who is accused of violating the Act on Special Cases Concerning the Settlement of Traffic Accidents (resulting in death) on May 24.

The suspect is accused of hitting Professor Choo Suk Jung of Seoul Asan Medical Center, who was riding his bicycle through the crosswalk, with a garbage truck while making a right turn at an intersection in front of the Family Town apartment in Pungnap-dong, Songpa-gu, Seoul around 1:20 PM on June 16th last year. Professor Jung died in the accident.

However, it is known that the suspect did not violate any traffic signals and the crosswalk signal was red at the time of the accident, indicating that the suspect did not violate the general obligation to stop briefly when making a right turn.

A prosecution official told the media, “Garbage trucks have a lot of blind spots and are dangerous. They require a higher duty of care to the front and sides than regular vehicles,” adding, “Considering that he neglected this and eventually caused an accident that resulted in the victim’s death, we decided to formally indict him.”

The deceased graduated from Yonsei University College of Medicine in 1988 and completed his thoracic surgery residency at Severance Hospital. He began working as a fellow in the Department of Thoracic Surgery at Seoul Asan Medical Center in 1998. In 2005, he obtained a medical license in Massachusetts and served as a clinical fellow in cardiac surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital at Harvard Medical School in the same year.

He continued his career as a professor of thoracic surgery at Ulsan University College of Medicine and served as the director of the Aortic Disease Center at the Heart Institute of Seoul Asan Medical Center.

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