Ryan Dallas Cook
|Ryan Dallas Cook|
|Birth name||Ryan Dallas Cook|
|Also known as||Dallas Cook|
|Born||June 5, 1982|
|Origin||Huntington Beach, California, United States|
|Died||October 19, 2005
Orange County, California
|Associated acts||Suburban Legends|
Dallas attended Huntington Beach High School from 1996–2000, where he was a member of the HBHS marching band, to which he attributed his love of music and performing. After graduation, he joined local music group Suburban Legends. Dallas was well known for his choreographed dance routines with other members of the band including handstands, flips, balancing his trombone on the palm of his hand, and jumping on the shoulders of band mate and best friend Brian Robertson.
Choreographed antics along with Dallas’ down-to-earth demeanor with fans, helped draw legions to Suburban Legends’ performances.
Cook appeared on the following releases with Suburban Legends:
- Bomb Squad EP (1998)
- Origin Edition (1999)
- Suburban Legends (2001)
- Suburban Legends (Tim Remix) (2002)
- Rump Shaker (2003)
- Season One (2004)
At 12:25 AM on October 19, 2005 his life was ended in a motorcycle accident on the Costa Mesa Freeway in Orange County, California where he collided with a Hyundai automobile. The driver of the Hyundai fled the scene after the accident. Dallas never recovered consciousness and died on the scene.
According to California Highway Patrol officer Denise Quesada, Cook was thrown from his motorcycle, then was struck multiple times by oncoming cars. The driver of the dark-colored Hyundai fled the scene on the southbound 55, Quesada said. Santa Ana CHP began investigating the accident, looking for a dark-colored Hyundai with rear or side damage.
On April 4, 2006, police announced they had determined the identity of the hit-and-run automobile driver: Hyundai Automobile Executive Youn Bum Lee. Police believe Youn was intoxicated the night of the accident, and stopped his car in the carpool lane. Because Youn had turned off his headlights, police believe that Dallas never saw the darkened car, slammed into it, and died instantly.
After contacting his lawyers and showing the damage to associates, Lee fled to Korea.
Airport surveillance footage shows Lee, accompanied by two fellow Hyundai executives, boarding a plane. Hyundai released a statement that they terminated Lee's employment shortly after the incident and do not know his current whereabouts.
On January 28, 2008, the fugitive believed to be responsible for Dallas' death was arrested in South Korea following a warrant issued by a South Orange County Judge. South Korean authorities released him into US custody and the fugitive will be extradited back to Orange County shortly.
On October 23, 2005, a large group of Suburban Legends fans joined Dallas' friends and family to celebrate his life at Disneyland Resort's Downtown Disney (where the band was legendary in the early 2000s). On November 29, 2005, former and current band members performed a benefit show for the Dallas Cook Memorial Fund, set up in Cook's honor to raise money for the Huntington Beach High School instrumental music program. A memorial chair for Dallas was dedicated and placed in the high school auditorium.
Dallas' family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Hyundai, on May 23, 2007.
Lee was arrested on December 2, 2008 and extradited back to the United States; he could face up to 15 years in prison if convicted on all accused accounts.
Inspired by and in honor of Cook, the Western Carolina University Pride of the Mountains Marching Band performed Suburban Legends' 2003 song "You" on national television in the 2011 Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California.
- Accident article from Orange County Register
- Link to article announcing Youn Bum Lee as a suspect
- Dallas' page on SuburbanLegends.com (mostly the same as this article, but with information regarding donations to the Dallas Cook Memorial Fund)
-  Link to capture of fugitive