Dealership releases statement after fatal test drive crash; salesperson in car has several speeding arrests and felony convictions

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WHAS11.com

Posted on August 25, 2009 at 5:46 PM

Updated Thursday, Oct 15 at 5:10 PM

(WHAS11) - The dealership that owned that car involved in a fatal crash during a test drive has released a statement on the incident. ?

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It happened when Bryan Lee was test driving a vehicle from Commonwealth Dodge. Authorities say he reached speeds of 101 miles per hour. ???????????

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Lee is charged with manslaughter after that vehicle crashed into another, killing two people.

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On Tuesday, Commonwealth Dodge said in a statement:

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"Commonwealth Dodge expresses its deepest sympathy for the families involved in this terrible accident. Mr. Lee in no way was encouraged to break the law by our salesman, whose life was also in jeopardy during these events, and who incurred injuries in this needless accident. At two different times during this test drive, our salesman begged Mr. Lee to slow down."

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You can see the entire statement by .

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After receiving the statement from Commonwealth Dodge, WHAS11 spoke with family members of the two people who died. They say that doesn't change things in their mind.

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They say there's plenty of blame to go around.

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The crash took the lives of Toya Buckner-Dium, 40, and Sherman King, Sr., 60.

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Their car was struck by a Dodge Challenger driven by Lee, 30, who was taking it on a test drive from Commonwealth Dodge. The crash took place on Fern Valley Road.

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The two victims were attempting to cross the road to turn left, when lee plowed into them at 100 miles an hour.

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Lee has been charged with two counts of manslaughter.?

Lee's brother was in the car, along with Commonwealth Dodge salesman Sayed Ghafoori.

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There are differing accounts about whether Ghafoori told lee to slow down. Commonwealth Dodge's Attorney said in the statement that the salesman asked Lee to slow down twice, but police say they were not told that during the initial investigation.

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They also say that Ghafoori told them he estimated the car was going about 50-to-60 miles per hour at the time of the track.

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Ghafoori hasn't been charged with any crime in relation to the crash.

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However, WHAS11 looked into Ghafoori's backround and found he has been charged six times with speeding in recent years, including one charge of driving 34 miles an hour over the speed limit.

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He also has prior felony convictions. He received a 10-year sentence after he was convicted of 54 counts related to a string of burglaries.

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Neither Ghafoori nor Commonwealth Dodge's attorney would comment when we asked them about the salesman's past.

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