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Driver in fatal crash near Makua Cave remains in custody

By Gregg K. Kakesako

LAST UPDATED: 9:52 a.m. HST, Jun 18, 2013

The 18-year-old driver of the pickup truck remains in custody at Oahu Community Correctional Center while police investigate the fiery truck crash near Makua Cave early Saturday morning that killed one boy and sent four teenagers to the hospital.

Kamealohanakekaiau Wilbur-Delima was transferred to OCCC Monday following a District Court hearing to answer charges of failing to appear for four misdemeanor offenses, which resulted in the issuance of bench warrants, a Department of Public Safety spokesman said.

Charges of negligent homicide and first-degree accidental death are pending.

Wilbur-Delima turned himself in at the main police station at 11:40 a.m. Saturday — nearly 12 hours after the crash — preventing authorities from performing a blood test to determine if he was legally drunk at the time of the accident.

The Medical Examiner’s Office said today it still hasn’t been able to identify the man whose badly burnt body was found outside the truck. 

Wilbur-Delima appeared in Honolulu District Court Monday afternoon on four bench warrants related to driving without a license, speeding, not possessing no-fault vehicle insurance and other misdemeanors offenses Monday afternoon. 

District Judge Clarence Pacarro reduced his bail of $1,250 on the four misdemeanor charges to $330 over the objections of city prosecutors.

The suspect is supposed to appear in Kaneohe District Court today on a charge of driving without a license on March 18.

Police said the truck was weaving and speeding as it traveled north on Farrington Highway. It went off the road, hit a concrete piling and burst into flames about a half-mile north of Makua Cave just after midnight Saturday.

Police on Saturday said 12 people were in the truck — seven in the two-seat crew cab and five in the truck bed. Police Maj. Kurt Kendro, head of the department's Traffic Division, said Monday that police are unsure how many people were in the truck because many ran away after the crash.

Paramedics took three girls, ages 13, 14 and 15; and a 16-year-old boy to a hospital in serious condition. Kendro said some of them had been released from the hospital, but did not provide details.

Because the accident involved passengers in the truck's bed, two state senators said they will press again for passage of a bill that would prohibit riding in the back of trucks except in very limited situations. The bill wasn't viewed favorably by neighbor island lawmakers because of opposition from rural residents who depend on the truck bed to carry passengers. The bill, which would apply only to Oahu, died this session.

State law bans children 12 and younger from riding in a truck bed but allows older people in the back if the cab is full and the sides and tailgate are secured.

Kendro said at a news conference that it's ironic that motorists are required to tether their animals riding in the back of a truck but that there are no safety measures for people.

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