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Driver killed in early-morning H-1 crash identified as Waipahu man

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 1:57 p.m. HST, Apr 7, 2011

A 27-year-old man died in a crash on the H-1 Freeway near Paiwa Street early this morning, police said.

The city Medical Examiner’s Office identified him as Lance Bernard of Waipahu.

The 4:20 a.m. crash tied up traffic in both directions during the morning commute.

Police said the man, driving a 2004 silver Mercedes, was traveling in the Waianae-bound lanes when he hit a 1990 flatbed truck parked unattended on the freeway shoulder.

Firefighters put out a fire in the engine of the Mercedes and removed the man from the car, Fire Department spokesman Capt. Terry Seelig said. It did not appear that he suffered burns, he said. 

Police said the man was not wearing a seat belt.

The crash happened in a lighted area of the freeway in rainy conditions.

Police closed the two right westbound lanes as they cleared the scene and investigated the crash. The state Department of Transportation delayed opening the zipper lane prior to Paiwa Street to allow Waianae-bound traffic to flow, said DOT spokesman Dan Meisenzahl. The zipper lane was opened about 5:45 a.m.

It was the 16th traffic fatality this year, compared with 17 at the same time last year.

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