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Hawaii News

Boy, 11, dies in car crash

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Samuel Kassebeer, 11, died yesterday when the car he was in was rear-ended by an allegedly drunken driver along Kalanianaole Highway in Waimanalo.
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Family members of Kassebeer gathered yesterday at his family’s home.

A 20-year-old, allegedly drunken driver who may have been racing through Waimanalo early yesterday morning, rear-ended a car and killed an 11-year-old boy, police said.

Samuel Kassebeer was ejected from the back seat of a white 2003 Hyundai Elantra and landed on Kalanianaole Highway north of Bell Street at 1:43 a.m., police said.

Paramedics pronounced the boy dead at the scene at 2:18 a.m., said Bryan Cheplic, spokesman for the city’s Emergency Services Department.

The male driver of the black 1995 Honda Accord that hit the Elantra was arrested for investigation of drunken driving and negligent homicide, police said. He suffered minor injuries.

Traffic investigators believe the Accord was racing another car down Kalanianaole Highway, possibly a dark-colored compact, and are looking for leads on its driver.

The 39-year-old female driver of the Elantra and a female passenger in her 40s were taken in critical condition to a trauma center.

The Elantra was heading north on Kalanianaole Highway, 520 feet north of Bell Street, and turning left into a driveway when the first car passed, police said.

The Accord followed "at a high rate of speed" and crashed into the rear of the Elantra, spinning it around and ejecting Samuel, police said.

No one in either car was wearing safety restraints, police said.

Investigators consider speed and alcohol to be factors in the crash and are asking witnesses to come forward.

The crash was the 33rd traffic fatality on Oahu this year, compared with 37 at the same time last year.


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