116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS - A man already facing a murder charge in Illinois now faces local charges in a fatal March 7 wrong-way crash in the S-curve of Interstate 380.
Tyler Lee, 34, of Rockton, Ill., turned himself in about 4 p.m. at the Linn County Jail, shortly after police announced he was being sought.
He faces two vehicular homicide charges - one related to driving while drunk and the other for reckless driving. Police did not disclose Lee's blood-alcohol level. He also faces two counts of causing serious injury by motor vehicle.
Police said Lee was driving a 2019 Ford F-150 pickup the wrong way down the northbound lanes of I-380 near the Seventh Street NE exit when he hit a 2007 Chevrolet Suburban. The collision killed a passenger in the Suburban, 23-year-old David Phuong Nguyen of Cedar Rapids.
Authorities said the driver of the Suburban, 20-year-old Rylee B. Wallingford, of Cedar Rapids, and another passenger, suffered serious injuries in the crash.
Lee was briefly hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries.
Police said evidence gathered during the ensuing investigation, including toxicology reports, led them to obtain warrants for him.
Cedar Rapids public safety spokesman Greg Buelow said there are several reasons Lee was not arrested at the time of the fatal crash. Lee was 'not cooperative” with officers the morning of the crash, Buelow said, and investigators needed more information before presenting charges to the Linn County Attorney's Office.
Buelow said officers were careful to not 'deny justice to the family because of procedural issues.” The police department did not want Lee to plead guilty to the first available charges and then avoid more serious charges when evidence became available due to double jeopardy.
'The police department has been in continual communication with the victims and families of the victims in this case,” Buelow said in a statement. 'We have appreciated their patience and support as a thorough and methodical investigation was being conducted.”
Lee now faces charges in connection with deaths in two states.
He is a defendant in a murder case in Winnebago County, Ill. According to court records, Lee faces a first-degree murder charge and 11 other offenses related to a fatal shooting in Loves Park, Ill.
The Rockford Register Star reported that Loves Park officers responded about 4 a.m. May 20, 2017, to a shooting, where they found 38-year-old Christopher Peters dead.
Police said Lee and Peters were involved in an altercation when the shooting occurred.
Lee was arrested later that same day when police raided his residence and said they confiscated quantities of cocaine and marijuana, as well as marijuana plants.
Court records show Lee was charged in connection with the drugs, but the homicide-related charges came later.
The circuit court clerk's office said a bill of indictment charging Lee with murder was filed Nov. 1, 2017, and his bail was set at $1 million.
He later was released when $100,000 - or 10 percent - of his bail was posted, according to the clerk's office.
Staff at DeRango & Cain LLC, the firm representing Lee in his Illinois case, said Lee has an attorney in Iowa, but did not know who.
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