SANTA ANA, Calif. – A fatal alcohol-fueled collision took the life of a 44-year-old woman and injured her husband and two teenage children at the intersection of Ridgeline and Turtle Rock drives in Irvine on May 16, 2018.
Kamal Akwette Attoh, a twice-convicted drunken driver, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and is expected to receive a sentence of 15 years to life in prison on April 8. Attoh faced a murder charge instead of vehicular manslaughter due to his prior drunk driving convictions in 2000 and 2002.
Jeongmi Choi was walking home from a nearby park with her family when Attoh struck them with his vehicle, causing fatal injuries to Choi and critical injuries to her husband. The couple’s 15-year-old daughter and 18-year-old son were also hospitalized as a result of the collision.
Attoh’s attorney, Jeff Kent, stated that his client chose to accept responsibility for his actions rather than subject the grieving family to a trial. Attoh admitted to drinking alcohol and taking Xanax before driving home from his girlfriend’s house on the day of the collision.
The incident occurred when Attoh’s vehicle struck the family on a sidewalk, careened down an embankment, and collided with a tree. The prosecution argued that Attoh’s decision to drive under the influence, despite his prior convictions, resulted in the tragic consequences for the Choi family.
As the case reaches its sentencing phase, the community reflects on the devastating impact of driving under the influence and the importance of holding individuals accountable for their actions on the road.