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Men accused in hit-run death allegedly threatened witness


  • Mark K. Salangdron
  • COURTESY HONOLULU POLICE DEPARTMENT
    Elijah N. Kawai-Aweau
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A witness to a fatal hit-and-run accident in Kaneohe last weekend said today she was repeatedly threatened by two men who were in the pickup truck that killed Matthew Fragas.

Mark K. Salangdron, of an Iroquois Avenue address, was charged Thursday with fleeing the scene of an accident and extortion. His bail was set at $250,000.

Police said Elijah Kawai-Aweau,  25, also was in the truck driven by Salangdron on June 2 that struck the 25-year-old victim. He was charged with hindering prosecution and was being held in lieu of $150,000 bail.

Both men made their initial court appearance today before District Judge Leslie Hayashi. Their preliminary hearings will be at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday in District Court.

In a police affidavit filed in court Friday, police said a witness told officers that the two men had been drinking with friends June 1 at a Kaneohe home near Coral Kingdom.

When the witness left the party at 2 a.m. on June 2, Salangdron and Kawai-Aweau “appeared intoxicated,” had a hard time walking and their speech was slurred.

The witness said she asked Salangdron if he could drive, and he responded that he could.

Salangdron got into the driver’s seat of a gray pickup truck with Aweau and another man as passengers.

The witness said Salangdron “started to burn rubber at the entrance to the street” and was driving fast, weaving all over Kahikili Highway. She estimated that Salangdron was going 60 mph.

The witness said she saw a man, later identified as Fragas, jump into the path of the truck and was hit. She said the victim was shirtless and was wearing blue shorts.

The witness said Salangdron did not slow down and continued driving toward the H-3 freeway. She said she followed the truck, pulled up alongside it and yelled at Salangdron to turn around since he had hit someone.

She said Salangdron yelled back: “You guys not say nothing. You better not say anything. We gotta go.”

Salangdron also allegedly told the witness: “You not going back. If you do, you better watch out,”

That made the witness fearful of Salangdron, the police affidavit said.

The witness said that on the night of June 2, after the accident, Salangdron called her and said, “I know you’re the only witness so you better not open your mouth. Do you understand? Do you want something to happen to you? You better not say anything.”

The witness also said Aweau approached the witness at her workplace at a Kapolei water park on the morning of June 3, asking if she was OK.

The witness said she told Aweau to do the right thing.

He replied, “No. No one better not say anything. I going call a meeting with everyone that was there. Whatever Mark says, I will enforce it. If I find out you went talk to the police, I’m coming after you.”

The witness said on the night of June 3, Aweau called her, saying, “If you open your mouth, there will be consequences. If you you say anything, the consequences will be put into action. If the cops come, we going to know it was you and we are coming to after you.”

Another witness also told police that he saw the pickup truck driven by Salangdron hit Fragas.

The second witness said he has been avoiding Salangdron and Aweau because he fears them.

Police said Fragas had been arguing with his wife before the accident.

Fragas’ father said he told his son to leave their home “to cool off” and he saw him walk toward Kahikili Highway.

The medical examiner determined that Fragas died of head injuries caused by a motor vehicle collision. He was pronounced dead at the scene on Kahikili Highway near Ahuimanu Place at 2:40 a.m. June 2.

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