Robert L. Sears, Accepting cases throughout WA State 253-286-7444
A tragic accident happened on Tuesday, November 28th, 2023, at around 1:30 in the afternoon
It was the typical midday lunch rush, and the employees were playing music and serving customers like usual at Don’s Drive-In, a popular local restaurant known for their homemade prawns and fish & chips. A black sedan suddenly crashed straight through the brick wall of the restaurant. The restaurant is located on South Meridian, and it has been open for nearly twenty years. It’s a staple for locals. The car collided with the side of the restaurant where employees receive orders from customers. 

The at-fault driver was a senior citizen aged 64 years old. He was impaired when he caused the crash, although it has not been stated whether it was from drugs or alcohol. Police arrested him, and he was charged with both DUI (driving under the influence) and vehicular assault. If the victim had died, the driver would have been charged with vehicular homicide. He is being detained at the Pierce County Jail. 

The victim of the crash is a 48-year-old Korean-American man named Jiho Yoon, who lives in Federal Way and works at Don’s Drive-In. When the car crashed through the wall, it knocked over a fryer full of oil. The huge fryer pinned Yoon against the wall, continuously dumping grease over him. The boiling hot oil covered the employee from head to toe and caused life-threatening grease burn injuries. 

Jiho Yoon was severely burned all over his body, with the worst of it on his front and arms. His legs and face were also burned. Getting large-scale burns from oil is one of the worst types of injuries a person can endure, aside from burns from banned chemical weapons such as napalm. Yoon is now fighting to stay alive and recover at the Harborview Medical Center hospital in Seattle. 

The property owner, Gina Burkhammer, reports that she has been reaching out to the owner of Don’s Drive-In. The restaurant owner has been doing her best to support Yoon, as well as his family. Every day, she makes a long trip to pick up Yoon’s parents and takes them to Harborview. They’ve been spending hours with him daily as he recovers. 

KIRO 7 News interviewed Andrew Peterson, whose two daughters work at Don’s Drive-In. He said that Jiho Yoon isn’t just his daughter’s co-worker; he treats them like they’re family. His kindness and fun personality shone through as he humored the girls, doing what they wanted to do. He would dress up for occasions such as Halloween. Yoon went the extra mile to make Don’s Drive-In a nice working environment for the employees. The team is like a family. 

Jiho Yoon had to undergo his first surgery recently, a skin graft surgery. The doctors could not perform the surgery right away because the oil burns needed to finish burning first. Not only did Yoon have to undergo the initial pain from the accident, but he also had to undergo continuing horrific pain. As nerve endings regrow, burn injuries are often extremely painful. For many burn victims, the initial injury isn’t what is most painful, but the recovery is. Thankfully, Yoon has his support network and is in the care of excellent doctors to help him through this difficult time. 

Personal Injury Attorneys

Car Crash Attorney In Puyallup

The car crash damaged Don’s Drive-In’s building extensively. It affected the roof, wall, equipment, electrical wiring, and more. Food and supplies were also damaged and will have to be replaced. The coffee shop next to the restaurant was also closed for a while because the power went out. The estimated damages are a six-figure number. It’s tragic and unfair that one person’s irresponsible actions turned so many lives upside-down. The restaurant employees can’t work until the building is repaired, meaning lost wages. 

Jiho Yoon’s co-workers created a GoFundMe page to help raise money for his expenses while he is recovering in the hospital. The GoFundMe talks about how the accident happened, as well as the injuries that Yoon suffered from it. It says that he has been an employee at Don’s Drive-In for years and is dedicated to his job. Aside from just cooking, he has also invented popular new dishes for the menu, helped the restaurant owner, helped train new employees, and cooked the food that customers enjoy. Every single day, he had to make the long commute from Federal Way to Puyallup. Co-workers say that he cooked and fried with a smile on his face. “When long-time customers asked his name, he would point to himself and say, ‘Brad Pitt!,’ with a big smile,” the GoFundMe says. The devastating accident on November 28th disrupted his positive, upbeat attitude and excellent work ethic. 

It’s common for GoFundMe pages to be made for loved ones if they were injured in an accident. However, even if significant funds are raised by the community, it usually isn’t enough to cover all of the damages from the accident. If Yoon’s situation sounds similar to something that happened to you or a loved one, where they were injured by an accident caused by somebody else, it’s important to file a personal injury claim. It’s important to hold the at-fault driver accountable for what happened. You shouldn’t have to pay for all the damages on your own. 

Medical expenses, time away from work, pain and suffering, and more all need to be properly taken into account. The impact of a serious accident injury is often long-lasting and debilitating. When someone is in an accident like this one, they need the help of a personal injury attorney to get compensation. A car accident injury lawyer can calculate your damages and obtain a fair settlement. It’s important to have an attorney with experience that can fight for you.


Puyallup Personal Injury Attorneys
Reach out to our Puyallup car accident attorney at Sears Injury Law today. If you were injured in an accident, you may have many questions. We will be happy to review your case and go over what legal options you have so we know how to proceed. Don’t bear the financial burden of the accident alone. If a negligent driver caused you or a loved one to be injured in an accident, reach out to our top Puyallup injury law firm, Sears Injury Law, to get started on your claim.