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CEO of Nevada-based Lee's Discount Liquor dies in crash

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Posted at 9:10 PM, Nov 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-21 23:16:59-05

WEST WENDOVER, Nev. — The head of a popular chain of liquor stores in Nevada was killed in a highway accident Friday.

Lee's Discount Liquor announced "with heavy hearts" the news about the death of Kenny Lee, the current chief executive officer and son of the late founder. The chain included 23 stores between Las Vegas, Reno, Mesquite and West Wendover, according to the announcement.

A Nevada Highway Patrol spokesperson told KTNV that Lee, 53, was driving southbound in a van on U.S. Highway 93 between Ely and West Wendover around 10:30 a.m. when he went into the oncoming lanes for an unknown reason.

A northbound truck swerved in an attempt to avoid crashing into the van, but the two vehicles ended up side-swiping each other.

Troopers said Lee was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected. He was declared dead at the scene. The truck driver suffered moderate injuries.

NHP is still investigating the crash but said intoxication is not considered a factor at this time.

The liquor retailer's statement said Lee leaves behind a wife and three children.

"Kenny was an avid golfer, passionate Golden Knights fan and most importantly, a loving son, husband and father," the statement read. "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."

Information on funeral services will be announced as the arrangements are made.

"Please keep the entire Lee Family in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time," the statement continued.

Kenny Lee's father Hae Un Lee, the business' founder also known as "Mr. Lee," died in late August after a nearly year-long battle with pancreatic cancer.