A 29-year-old Waianae man died early today after he lost control of his car and crashed through a vacant homeless tent and into a tree at Keaau Beach Park, police and witnesses said.
No one else was injured.
The Medical Examiner’s Office identified the driver as 29-year-old Anthony Paul Freitas of Waianae.
The crash happened about 2:15 a.m., when the 29-year-old was headed southbound on Farrington Highway in a 1998 White Chevrolet Malibu. The driver lost control and went onto the shoulder, through some brush and a homeless tent and hit a large tree, police and witnesses said. The people who lived in the tent were not inside when the crash happened.
Police said the vehicle was “crushed,” and the driver was pinned.
Freitas was pronounced dead at the scene at 2:32 a.m., said Bryan Cheplic, city Emergency Services Department spokesman.
Kathi Culla, 43, who was visiting friends camped in the park, said if the tree hadn’t stopped the car it would have kept going — right into another tent where five children were sleeping.
“We heard the impact, but didn’t know what it was,” said Culla, of the crash. “We were shocked.”
Police said the driver was not wearing a seatbelt.
The Medical Examiner’s Office said Freitas died of internal injuries from the accident.
The crash happened during a light rain, and the road was dimly lit, police said.
The fatality is the 31st of the year on Oahu, compared to 31 at the same time last year.