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PV High Student Killed by Suspected Drunk Driver

Sean Heffernan, a student at Palos Verdes High School, is struck and killed by a car. The car's driver later failed a field sobriety test, authorities said.

A 17-year-old boy killed by a suspected drunk driver Friday night in Rancho Palos Verdes has been identified as Sean Heffernan, a student at Palos Verdes High School.

Heffernan was apparently getting into his car, which was parked in the 30400 block of Hawthorne Boulevard—near Robert E. Ryan Community Park—when a Lexus headed southbound struck him and three cars at the curb, then veered left and went over the raised median, the Daily Breeze reported. Four female friends witnessed the collision.

Heffernan was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Lt. John Wolak told the Breeze that Rancho Palos Verdes resident Ho Seok Suh, 55, allegedly failed a field sobriety test and was arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence.

Suh spent the night in the Lomita Jail and posted bail Saturday.

According to the Palos Verdes High School website, Heffernan was on the cross-country team. Results from the 2012 Bay League Finals cross-country meet indicate that he was a senior on the junior varsity team.

robin January 21, 2013 at 10:09 PM
Peace with the Heffernan family. May the driver hang and be tortured..
kim January 22, 2013 at 12:17 AM
R.I.P. sweet boy.... I am praying for your family
Rance January 22, 2013 at 09:29 PM
Robin, here's what's probably going to happen: Since the bail was set at 50K, this tells me the suspect had no prior DUI arrests or convictions. Depending on his BAC (Blood Alcohol Content), the driver may not even serve any significant jail time if convicted. Depending on what test(s) he submitted to at the time of his arrest (Blood, Breath or Urine) will play a significant role if any disposition. If his BAC is below .08%, this could significantly affect the final charge(s) filed by the DA's Office. Another issue to take into account is if the suspect's BAC was on the rise or lowering at the time of the collision. These issues are just a part of the case. Most likely this case will not go to trial. A plea will be agreed upon, and case will end up in Civil Court. Sorry, but these are the facts.
Kris January 27, 2013 at 04:55 PM
I don't know the victim, but this just breaks my heart. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. It also angers me to no end that the killer (the driver) was able to walk out of jail the next day because he happened to be able to post bail. I understand how it works, the facts, etc. but it makes no sense. Yes, he will end up back in jail (I hope), but geez.
Emm February 22, 2013 at 12:07 AM
Rance, Just read your reply. I was driving home the night this happened and came upon the closed portion of Hawthorne. This has been on my mind ever since and I was actually searching for some information about what will happen to the man driving under the influence. It breaks my heart even further to hear that he will likely get away with just a slap on the wrist and unfortunately without severe consequences, he will be free to kill yet another innocent person.


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