POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Jun 19, 2010
A 29-year-old Waianae man died early yesterday after he lost control of his car and crashed through a vacant tent and into a tree at Keaau Beach Park, police and witnesses said.
No one else was injured.
The city Medical Examiner's Office identified the driver as 29-year-old Anthony Paul Freitas of Waianae.
The crash happened at about 2:15 a.m., when Freitas was driving south on Farrington Highway in a 1998 White Chevrolet Malibu. He lost control of the car and drove onto the shoulder, through some brush and a tent and hit a large tree, police and witnesses said. The people who lived in the tent were not inside at the time.
Police said the vehicle was "crushed" and the driver was pinned.
Freitas was pronounced dead at the scene at 2:32 a.m., said Bryan Cheplic, city Emergency Services Department spokesman.
Kathi Culla, 43, who was visiting friends who were camping in the park, said if the tree hadn't stopped the car, it would have kept going and hit another tent where five children were sleeping.
"We heard the impact but didn't know what it was," said Culla. "We were shocked."
Police said the driver was not wearing a seat belt.
The Medical Examiner's Office said Freitas died of internal injuries from the accident.
The crash happened during a light rain, and the road was dimly lit, police said.
The fatality is the 31st of the year on Oahu, compared with 31 at the same time last year.
Star-Advertiser reporter Leila Fujimori contributed to this story.