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Driver killed in early-morning crash

A 27-year-old man died in a crash on the H-1 freeway near Paiwa Street early yesterday, 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 Bernard, driving a 2004 silver Mercedes, was traveling in the Waianae-bound lanes when he hit a flatbed truck parked unattended on the freeway shoulder.

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

Police said he 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 transportation spokesman Dan Meisenzahl. The Zipper Lane was opened at about 5:45 a.m.

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

NEIGHBOR ISLANDS

Drowning killed man, police reveal

Big Island police said an autopsy has revealed that the 59-year-old Kailua-Kona man whose body was found in Honokohau Harbor drowned.

Police said the body of Franklin Lewis Smith was found at 6:50 a.m. Saturday floating face-down by paddleboarders about 100 yards inside the harbor entrance.

The autopsy also showed Smith had injuries to his head and leg consistent with a fall onto rocks.

The paddleboarders brought Smith’s body to shore. Fire rescue personnel could not resuscitate him. Smith was taken to Kona Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

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