December 1, 2020

Gov’t to pay family $17.8M for military jet crash

Pin It

FILE - In this Dec. 8, 2008 file photo, smoke rises from a fire after an F-18 military jet crashed into a suburban neighborhood in San Diego. A federal judge on Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2011, ordered the U.S. government to pay $17.8 million to a Korean family that lost four members when the Marine Corps fighter jet crashed into their San Diego home in 2008. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy, File)

SAN DIEGO (AP) — A federal judge on Wednesday ordered the U.S. government to pay $17.8 million to a family that lost four members when a Marine Corps fighter jet crashed into their San Diego home in 2008.

U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Miller’s ruling came after a nonjury trial between the Department of Justice and the family, who sought $56 million for emotional and monetary loss.

Don Yoon lost his 36-year-old wife, Youngmi Lee Yoon; his 15-month-old daughter, Grace; his 2-month-old daughter, Rachel; and his 59-year-old mother-in-law, Seokim Kim Lee, who was visiting from Korea to help her eldest daughter take care of their children.

Yoon said in a statement that Miller’s ruling was “thoughtful, reasoned and just.” Yoon broke down crying throughout his testimony, which came three years to the day when he buried his wife and baby girls in the same casket. He told the judge he only looks forward to the day when he can join them.

“Our family is relieved this part of the process is over, but no sum of money will ever make up for the loss of our loved ones,” he said.

The Marine Corps has said the plane suffered a mechanical failure but a series of bad decisions led the pilot — a student — to bypass a potentially safe landing at a coastal Navy base after his engine failed on Dec. 8, 2008.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Speak Your Mind

*