and Rob Shikina
POSTED: 8:52 a.m. HST, Jan 2, 2011
LAST UPDATED: 12:11 p.m. HST, Jan 2, 2011
Two cars involved in a fatal, five-car crash on New Year's Day — a silver 2007 Mitsubishi sedan and a silver 2006 Lexus sedan — were reportedly "driving erratically and at a high rate of speed" according to witness accounts, said Honolulu police Sgt. Alan Vegas.
The Mitsubishi crossed into the southbound lane and struck a gold 1992 Mercury sedan at an angle, Vegas said.
The Mitsubishi then overturned and came to rest just north of the scene. The Mitsubishi's driver and one of his rear-seat passengers were ejected from the car, Vegas said.
Two people were killed and six others injured at 6:55 p.m. on Kunia Road, just south of Kunia Drive. Two of the vehicles were heading north and three were coming from the opposite direction.
The ejected passenger, 12, was pronounced dead at the scene while the Mitsubishi's driver was taken to Queen's Medical Center in critical condition, Vegas said. Three other teenage boys in the car — ages 19, 17 and 14 — were taken to Queen's in serious condition.
A 42-year-old Ewa Beach woman, the driver of the Mercury, was pronounced dead at the scene, Vegas said.
The Lexus, which was near or astride to the right of the Mitsubishi when it struck the Mercury, veered right, lost control and spun into the southbound lane where it was broadsided by a silver 2010 Nissan pickup truck.
The drivers of both the Lexus and the pickup were taken to Queen's in serious condition.
A gray 1994 Nissan sedan, directly behind the Mercury, was struck by debris. It veered right, striking a dirt embankment. Neither the driver, a 48-year-old Wahiawa man, nor his three female passengers — ages 29, 4 and three months — were injured.
Honolulu Police Department Maj. Thomas Nitta of the Traffic Division said speed appears to have been a factor in the crash, which happened in an unlit area of the roadway.
"It's people who are operating vehicles, they have to make personal choices on how they operate the vehicles," he said. "No matter how good a driver you are, you sometimes become part of the accident."
It is unknown if alcohol was a factor. Kunia Road remained closed between Lyman Gate and Anonui Street on the Royal Kunia side. It was re-opened shortly before 2 a.m..
In 2010, 62 people died in traffic crashes on Oahu.