Owner of popular Nevada discount liquor chain dies in traffic collision

Kenny Lee. Photo: Lee's Discount Liquor

ELKO, Nevada, Nov. 22, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — The owner of a popular discount liquor store chain with outlets in Las Vegas and West Wendover died Friday in a crash south of West Wendover.

Kenny Lee, 53, heir to the Lee’s Discount Liquor franchise, was 53, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

“It’s with very heavy hearts that we regrettably inform you that Kenny Lee passed away,” said Stephanie Sivertson, the company’s chief financial officer, in a released statement.

“Please keep the entire Lee family in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”

The West Wendover location is just a few miles into Nevada from the Utah boarder.

The Review-Journal story said that according to the Nevada Highway Patrol, Lee was driving north on U.S. Highway 93, between Ely and West Wendover on Friday morning, when his van crossed the centerline and collided with a pickup truck. He died of his injuries.

Impairment is not suspected as a factor, the article said, adding that the pickup driver suffered only minor injuries.

Hua Un Lee. Photo: Lee’s Discount Liquor

Lee’s father, Hae Un Lee, founded the chain in the early 1980s. Hae Un Lee died of cancer in August of this year.

On Saturday, Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman tweeted about the loss of Kenny Lee.

“Shocked by the car accident that took the life of Kenny Lee of Lee’s Liquor after just losing his father three months ago,” she wrote. “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.”

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