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Driver in racing death commits suicide before sentencing

By Nelson Daranciang

LAST UPDATED: 4:09 p.m. HST, Mar 28, 2012

One of two motorists accused of causing the tragic death of an 11-year-old Waimanalo boy in 2010 was supposed to get sentenced for manslaughter this morning in state court.

However, the court canceled the hearing after discovering that the defendant, Herbert Kaio-Campbell, had apparently committed suicide Monday.

Honolulu police said Kaio-Campbell, 21, was found at his residence in Waimanalo Monday morning. City Emergency Medical Services personnel went to the home where Kaio-Campbell was pronounced dead.

Police said there were no signs of foul play and have classified the case as an unattended death.

Kaio-Campbell, 21, pleaded no contest in January to manslaughter in connection with the July 25, 2010, death of Samuel Kassebeer.

Police said Kaio-Campbell and Travis Murray were racing on Kalanianaole Highway when Kaio-Campbell crashed into a car in which Kassebeer was riding. The crash happened in front of Kassebeer's Waimanalo home.

Murray is scheduled to stand trial for manslaughter in May.

City prosecutors said  at the time of the crash Kaio-Campbell had a blood-alcohol content of 0.10.  

Police said the two drivers were leapfrogging each other in no-passing zones when Kaio-Campbell slammed into a car making a left turn in front of him. Kaio-Campbell's car was traveling 77 mph at the time of the impact, prosecutors said.

The impact ejected Kassebeer, who was the back-seat passenger, and Eunice "Ming Toi" Goo, who was a front-seat passenger.

Two months before the crash the Honolulu Fire Department had awarded Kaio-Campbell with a civilian medal of valor for rescuing a swimmer from rough surf.

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