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Pali crash kills 22-year-old motorcyclist

By Gordon Y.K. Pang

LAST UPDATED: 7:24 p.m. HST, Oct 18, 2010

One motorcyclist was killed and another seriously injured yesterday afternoon during a crash near the hairpin turn in the Honolulu-bound lanes of Pali Highway.

A Kailua woman, 22, who police believe is the wife of a Marine based at Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe, was killed. An Aiea man, 23, believed to be a Marine, was seriously injured. The victims are not related.

The two motorcycles appeared to be among at least six heading toward town about 12:40 p.m. on the Windward side just mauka of St. Stephen Diocesan Center.

The woman lost control of her 2009 Suzuki motorcycle just before the hairpin turn and hit the concrete median. After being thrown from her motorcycle, she was run over by the second motorcycle, a 2007 Suzuki.

The woman was treated at the scene and then taken to the Queen's Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead. The man was treated and taken to Queen's in serious condition with injuries to his collarbone.

Police said they do not know whether speed, drugs or alcohol were factors. Both victims were wearing helmets.

The two were part of a group of motorcyclists traveling together, said Lt. David Nilsen of the Honolulu Police Department's Traffic Division.

Officers on the scene were interviewing four other motorcyclists -- three men and one woman. Nearly all wore jackets with the same motorcyle-club logo on the back.

Around the scene were six sports bikes, including the two damaged ones that Nilsen identified as those involved in the crash.

All town-bound lanes of the Pali were shut down on the Kailua side from Kamehameha Highway for about three hours, backing up traffic on both Kalanianaole and Kamehameha highways.

The death was the 47th traffic fatality recorded this year, compared with 44 at this date last year.

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