LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- The owner and CEO of Lee's Discount Liquor has died. The 53-year-old was killed in a crash in Nevada on Nov. 19.
According to Nevada state police, the crash happened at 10:25 a.m. on Friday morning on U.S. 93 at mile marker 28 between Ely and West Wendover, near the Nevada-Utah border.
Lee was in a white 2019 Dodge Grand Caravan, and a white Ford pickup truck with a male driver was involved.
For unknown reasons, Lee failed to maintain his lane and crossed over into northbound lanes while the other driver was traveling southbound. The truck tried to swerve to avoid the oncoming van, and the vehicles collided and partially hit head-on and sideswiped, said Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Ashlee Wellman.
Lee was not wearing a seat belt and was thrown from the vehicle. He died at the scene, Wellman said.
The other driver and his passenger sustained minor injuries but wer not hospitalized. They stayed on scene and cooperated with police, according to Wellman.
No impairment is suspected in the crash, Wellman said. The crash remains under investigation.
PART OF THE LEE'S LEGACY
Lee served as CEO the retailer with 23 locations throughout Nevada. It was founded in 1982 by his father Hae Un Lee, who died in late August after battling pancreatic cancer.
"He was an active member of the community, who, with his father, founded Lee’s Helping Hand, that over the past 20 years, has contributed millions of dollars to Nevada charities," On Target Media said in a release. "Kenny was an avid golfer, passionate Golden Knights fan and most importantly, a loving son, husband and father."
Lee is survived by his wife, Nami, and three children: Nathan, Morgan and Addy.
Information related to a funeral service is forthcoming.
Gov. Steve Sisolak posted on Twitter that the Lee family was in his thoughts and prayers.
"Our hearts ache again for the Lee family - Kathy and I are keeping the Lee family, friends and loved ones in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time," the post said.
The company's charitable arm Lee's Helping Hand Foundation focused on educationand helping those with disabilities. In an interview with FOX5 on Saturday, Patrick Lindsey with Shriner's Children's Open said Lee and his family had been supporters of the organization for "at least the last 15 years."
"He was always there. Always willing to play around and laugh," Lindsey said. "We lost a great supporter today. We're saddened by the news. And Las Vegas has lost a great man."
The childhood literacy nonprofit Spread the Word Nevada also benefited from Lee's and the company's generosity, with Lee serving on the board for a period of time.
"Lee really strongly believed in our mission, as an immigrant. And he didn't speak the language when he got here," said Lisa Habighorst of Spread the Word Nevada.
The Vegas Golden Knights said Lee was a "generous philanthropic supporter" of their the team's charitable foundation, and his family were avid fans and attendees at games.
The Vegas Golden Knights lost a friend and supporter from our beginnings with the tragic passing of Kenny Lee. Kenny was not just a team partner but also a generous philanthropic supporter of the Vegas Golden Knights Foundation. (1/2)— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) November 21, 2021
Mayor Carolyn Goodman said Lee with his family created something "special" in Las Vegas.
Shocked by the car accident that took the life of Kenny Lee of Lee’s Liquor after just losing his father three months ago. A beautiful man like his dad; a devoted father, husband & son who created something so special with the family. Our prayers & sympathies to the Lee family.— Carolyn G. Goodman (@mayoroflasvegas) November 20, 2021