comscore Aiea man dies after SUV plummets off H-1 viaduct in 3-vehicle crash | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
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Aiea man dies after SUV plummets off H-1 viaduct in 3-vehicle crash

  • JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Honolulu police investigated the scene of a crash on North Nimitz Highway on Thursday night.

  • JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Honolulu police investigated the scene of a crash on North Nimitz Highway after the vehicle plunged off the H-1 freeway Thursday night.

  • JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COM

    A vehicle that had been heading toward downtown Honolulu on H-1 landed on North Nimitz Highway on Thursday night after a collision sent it plunging off the airport viaduct.

  • JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COM

    A vehicle that had been heading toward downtown Honolulu on H-1 landed on North Nimitz Highway on Thursday night after a collision sent it plunging off the airport viaduct.

  • JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COM

    A medical examiner paused to look at a vehicle that landed on North Nimitz Highway on Thursday night after a collision sent it plunging off the airport viaduct.

  • JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COM

    A vehicle that had been heading toward downtown Honolulu on H-1 landed on North Nimitz Highway on Thursday night after a collision sent it plunging off the airport viaduct.

  • JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COM

    A vehicle that had been heading toward downtown Honolulu on H-1 landed on North Nimitz Highway on Thursday night after a collision sent it plunging off the airport viaduct.

Two men who appeared to be speeding in a van along the H-1 freeway viaduct near Honolulu Airport triggered a three-car crash Thursday night that sent an SUV plummeting 30 feet onto North Nimitz Highway, killing the SUV’s driver, police said.

Traffic investigators said speed appeared to be a factor in the 9:10 p.m. collision, but drugs and alcohol did not appear to be involved.

Investigators said a 65-year-old Waipahu man and his 30-year-old male passenger, also from Waipahu, were traveling at a “high rate of speed” when they collided into the rear of a vehicle being driven by a 26-year-old Honolulu woman. With her in the vehicle were her 10-month-old daughter and a 25-year-old man from California, police said.

The collision forced the female driver to veer into an SUV, which smashed into a guardrail before plummeting off of the viaduct and onto North Nimitz Highway, police said.

The driver of the SUV, a 48-year-old Aiea man, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The crash was Honolulu’s 54th traffic fatality of the year, compared to 47 at the same time last year.

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      • Some people drive on the H-1 like its the autobahn. Speed enforcement is almost nonexistent. This morning there were three solo bikes enforcing the zipper and carpool lane. I kept thinking I wish there were three officers enforcing the speed limit at night and on weekends when guys doing 70+ are common.

        • 70 MPH is actually a safe speed on the freeways. You heard that correctly. At that speed, people maintain safe distances and pay attention to the road. Trying to slow people down usually results in tailgating and distracted driving. The German Autobahns were the safest stretches of road in the world until Germany became part of the EU and drivers from Eastern Europe were allowed on.

        • @On my turf, of course 70 mph would be a safe speed on certain freeways but definitely not on all freeways. There’s a reason for speed limits. Hawaii’s freeways tend not to have those long straight stretches where 70 mph would be perfectly fine to drive. Ex. The H-1 through urban Honolulu wouldn’t be suitable for driving 70. I’m willing to bet the guys in the van were going more than 70.

        • I’ve driven the Autobahn. There is no speed limit. You can drive as fast as you want….150mph! I kid you not. Thing is there are very few accidents related to speed on the A-bahn. Everybody in Europe knows how to drive fast and safe….unlike here on the rock.

        • Coming home last night on the freeway with Kahala Mall on the right this punk Asian kid in a grey truck came flying up out of nowhere and went from the fast lane to the right land at about 85 weaving in traffic. He barely missed clipping my back fender in the middle lane. Same thing could of happened here. If he didn’t go over the rail, and we all survived, we would of thrown him over the rail with our bare hands!

        • “On the autobahn people know the rules of the road”

          Very very true! People actually use their blinkers and move into the left lane to pass and quickly get out even if no cars are behind them. Very good drivers on the autobahn.

        • “I’ve driven the Autobahn. There is no speed limit. You can drive as fast as you want”

          Surfer_Dude, completely untrue! Please don’t spread fake news to only put dummies that read your post in danger.

          I’ve driven on the autobahn many times over many years every time I’ve been in Germany. In my observation there are fewer accidents but when one happens they are far more severe. The serious injury and fatality count the on the autobahn is far greater than the highways here and the autobahn gets shutdown for hours like the mess with our zipper lane! Maybe the hight fatality rate is due to tourists believing there’s no limit on the autobahn so they put their lives at risk by driving a some Hearse funeral car or some $h!ty BMW station-wagon like it’s a F1-Formula race car. Frankly, the bulk of the autobahn is limited to 130km (80mph) and has many frequent much slower speed changes throughout so from point A to point B the autobahn turns out slightly better than our freeways but not by much. The only thing I miss about the autobahn is the courteous drivers where they use the passing lane ONLY for passing instead of hogging all the lanes and causing gridlock.

      • I think what lokela is referring to is the carnage is just getting started. Innocent victim’s family will use the results of HPD’s accident investigation to get a lawyer and go after 65-year-old Waipahu man who is directly responsible for this accident.

        Attorney will take them for everything they have. All their auto insurance. If they own a home it may be gone for good. And go after all non retirement bank accounts.

        Yes. The accident carnage is ongoing.

        • And the family of the innocent man who died because of someone else’s recklessness should sue for all that driver is worth. Actually that driver of the van should also spend many years in jail but in Hawaii that is not going to happen. Only thing left is to leave that man penniless, if he isn’t already. How about SA report whether the 65 year van driver had a valid driver’s license, vehicle registration, safety check and auto-insurance? Someone should do research on this but it seems reckless drivers who get into accidents, including killing people often do not have a drivers license, properly registered vehicle with safety check and auto-insurance. That is why the City and State should go after people who drive without a valid drivers license, car insurance, etc. as it appears they are often the most dangerous and reckless drivers on the road.

    • There was a another vehicle that went over the elevated H1, E bound just after the cutoff to go to Kahala Mall. In that case they guy was speeding 90-100 mph, lost control, went over the guardrail and fell below to his death. Lucky he did not kill anyone else. Many years ago, there was motorcyclist going about 100mph below the viaduct, T-boned a Nissan Altima and flipped the car upside down. Both motorcyclist and driver died. Got plenty. If you are hinting that the guardrail is not high enough, not going to matter when people are driving at breakneck speeds. And no On_My_Turf, the Nimtiz Viaduct is NOT the autobahn because Hawaii drivers have ZERO lane discipline (ie pass ONLY on the left, slower cars must always stay right, heavy trucks and vehicles must stay in the right hand lanes only) that is required to safely drive in the 70+ mph speeds on any freeway.

      • PS: Forgot to add what is required 100% of the time to make freeways safer includes: pass ONLY on the left, slower cars must always stay right, heavy trucks and vehicles must stay in the right hand lanes only and everyone must ALWAYS use turn signals when changing lanes or taking an exit. Another thing that makes Hawaii freeways very unsafe is it allows many driver to last minute “dive bombs” into exit offramps or cut-offs. Dedicate cutoff lanes to offramps require cars must stay in the right most lane for an early exit offramp, which would greatly reduced accidents by those last minute dive bombing drivers into lanes to take an offramp or cut-off. The E bound H1 stadium cutoff, E bound H1 Punahou off, W bound H1 Waipahu, etc are good exmaples. Which also dove tails in greatly reduce Oahu gridlock traffic in getting a limited early freeway flyover for the Punahou offramp which would separate the Vineyard/Ward/Piikoi onramp with the Punahou offramp and greatly reduce traffic congestion of the entire H1 freeway. Off course no money or no will to do this because they only want to pay for and work on the rail project.

        • Sadly, there are many, many Hawaii drivers who don’t care to join HPD’s Traffic Division and yet feel it is a god-given duty to enforce the speed limit for all concerned.

          Saying this is beating an awfully dead equine, but if you are tootling about in the left lane but don’t anticipate making a left turn in a VERY short while, then for pity’s sake move yourself over to the right side. It actually disgusts me to see left-lane hogs who either are unaware of, or more likely selfishly don’t give a hoot about impeding the flow of traffic. It’s even worse and unforgivable when such clueless drivers deliberately keep pace with vehicles in the right lane and thereby prevent anyone from going around and past them.

          To such selfish motorists: you may feel yourselves to be paragons of virtue by impeding the flow of traffic, but by provoking unnecessary lane changes, you are likely leaving all sorts of accidents if not severe injuries and deaths in your wake.

          Again, if you folks don’t have a good reason to be in the left lane, then ask yourselves why are you there. The left lane is not referred to as the “passing lane” for no good reason.

        • DeltaDag, agree 100%

          They are called lane loafers! I practically go ape-$h!t when I encounter lane loafers! Utah has a great law where the COPs have been pulling lane loafers over whenever they spot one. It’ll take another century before HPD gets around to citing lane loafers here because they’re busy right now destroying any evidence related to the chiefs USPS mailbox scandal. LOL

      • I remember that motorcycle/car accident well. The car was Diamond Head-bound and turned left in front of the motorcycle. The motorcycle was going so fast that even though he hit the car on the passenger side, it still killed the driver. The picture I saw was of the bike fully embedded into the car. The only thing recognizable as a bike was the rear tire, and it too was embedded into the car. The carnage was so bad that first responders couldn’t even determine the sex of the biker. That happened in the wee hours of the morning when there was little traffic on that stretch. What a nightmare that must have been for all involved.

  • Need details of incident to pass judgement on drivers, however observation of what goes on along that stretch it does surprise me that this happens along that stretch…perhaps more HPD monitoring…video footage…bring back the van cams? 🙂 Regardless as long as innocents are spared that’s good news…condolences to Family.

    • The talivan cams? Neva work out as only the car gets the ticket and you cannot pin the driver without a clear photo of the him/her. Remember that Sports reporter who turned politician’s car that got talivanned and he claimed he didn’t know who the driver was that got photo’d? Bob Hogue! yeah that bum of a politician who weaseled out of a ticket because the authorities couldn’t pin the driver of his family vehicle. I like Bob as a Sports reporter but hated him for weaseling out of a ticket as I don’t care how was driving his vehicle, did he ever pay for the fine? I mean if you can’t pin the driver he could have at least payed the vehicle’s fine you know. Politicians are weasels, doesn’t matter what party he/she belongs to

  • I’ll hold off judgment until more details become available but I’d wager that this was the result of someone’s reckless/impaired driving. Whether the person who died was a guilty party is unknown at this time. There’s far too many people who don’t take driving seriously and think it’s some sort of game where they’re playing with innocent people’s lives.

    • Good luck collecting much from a 65 year old Waipahu resident driving a van! Unless he’s a rare billionaire cheap$kate driving a 20 year old vehicle like Warren Buffet, lawyers already know they won’t expect to get jack out of him. Let’s hope his insurance has some decent coverage which would be roughly all you can probably squeeze out of the deal.

  • Everyone’s commenting on enforcement of speed. I would rather see enforcement of recklessness. How would you do that? Have more cops cruising the highways. Just their presence puts everyone on alert. However, not enough cops because the powers that be, says useless road blocks are to be done to get federal funds. Road blocks take up a lot of manpower to randomly stop people (unconstitutional). Imagine if all those cops were cruising the streets. They would spot the weavers, tailgaters, non signalers, slow left laners, cell phone talkers and texters, and so on.

    • No need more cops on the road. All they have to do is randomly park a police vehicle on the side of the road with no one inside. When people see the car they will automatically slow down and drive better. Periodically have a cop in the car to stop the speeders. Move th cars around every couple of hours.

        • That’s just too smart for the leadership here in the Banana Repulic of Hawaii to wrap their heads around. Heck the PD chief can’t even fabricate a mailbox theft properly without turning it into a fiasco and laughing stock of the nation.

  • The guy who caused the accident ought to be charged with murder. I’m tired of these drivers who speed and tailgate and cause accidents that innocent people have no way to avoid.

    • Best comment so far. I fully agree – charge him with murder 1. Its pretty much a guarantee that if you get into an accident while speeding excessively, someone’s gonna die.

    • It’ll never happen in Hawaii. Probably some form of negligent homicide, maybe 2nd or 3rd degree, maybe serve a year in prison, if that. Since the law doesn’t seem to deter a lot of people, I wish all reckless drivers death or permanent disability so they can’t hurt others on the roads.

      • Time to ask for a change in the law. Maybe mandate they become mandatory organ donors as partial restitution to society. Keeping prisoners locked up at taxpayer expense does the rest of us very little good.

      • Just recently, that guy who ran into a police car that was stopped behind a stalled vehicle killing the cop, he was asking to be released early from his ONE YEAR sentence. And he was crying about how his young daughter misses him. How about the family of the cop you killed, you Jerk? I’ve got no sympathy for a whiner who took someone’s life because he was running late. Leave earlier next time! Don’t make your problem everyone else’s problem! Man up, you little weasel!

  • It looks like an innocent driver died because some lowlifes decided not to care about anyone’s lives on the roads. I wish death upon those that caused this incident, anything less would be unjust. Other reason all reckless drivers deserve death or permanent disability. If the driver of the van had died earlier, the guy from Aiea would still be alive and his loved one’s wouldn’t have to endure this grief.

  • Enough already! Mayor Caldwell and the Interim Police Chief should form an emergency Highway Division charged with watching only the highways that maintain a physical presence on all our Oahu, Big Island and Maui highways 24/7. The current Highway Patrol with their solo bike officers are understaffed. Until our City & County “leaders” figure out, you better make sure you kiss your loved ones goodbye and tell them you love them every time before they drive off, you never know…

    • Ridiculous, we don’t need a nanny police state. Give it a short few years, self driving cars are already buzzing around in CA, they’ll get here soon too! Traffic issues will solve themselves!

    • Yeah, just what we need, a nanny police state. With only 54 fatalities in 12 months I think you people are way over reacting. Those numbers are actually very good with a population of close to a million. Hawaii ranks as one of the safest in the nation. Source: http://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/t/general-statistics/fatalityfacts/state-by-state-overview Only thing that would increase safety from a realistic and viable perspective is autonomous vehicles which are already buzzing away all over California and soon to arrive here once the Banana Republic leaders grant the permits to allow them to buzz around HI.

  • Agree with kiragirl, something is wrong with the first sentence. The person driving the van was a cab driver (The Cab) with a passenger inside. Since no alcohol or drugs seem to be involved, either he (cab driver) had a medical situation or was in a rush to the airport. Condolences to the ohana of the man that died. Be safe out there.

  • Why are traffic cops out in force when the traffic is moving like molasses? All you need is a few to issue cell phone violations on the freeway during the day and or park an unmanned white and blue with its blue lights on at the side of the freeway. At night is when they should be out in force especially on the freeway, that is when people zip by at over 90 mph. Everything here in Hawaii is bassackwards! Don’t you people whom serve in government see it or are you all asleep, wake up government employees, start earning your keep! Think about it!

    • AManzano, you dislike government employees so much, it’s clouding your judgment. How does a white-collar government employee have ANYTHING to do with this accident? How does a hard-working government employee start to earn his keep?

      • Name just two hard-working white collar government union workers!

        I can give you a laundry list of white-collar government workers that should be fired immediately, I’ll give you two right now: Krook Caldwell and Louis Kealoha! Now your turn to post some good ol’ boys from the union.

  • For those of you who are concerned…..he was my friend…a good man..decent..law abiding…attentive driver…nice…polite…respectful…honorable….and all around sweet guy. He was an innocent person in the wrong place at the wrong time….please punish those who took him away from us so soon! My heart goes out to his sweet wife. He was a happy man when he married you.

  • Although he was speeding and breaking the law we don’t know how vehicle #2 was involved. Vehicle #2 could have also been at fault for an unsafe lane change or no signal for a lane change that could be a direct result of the impact. More details needed. Ambulance chasers will be sure to go after both. Condolences to all and especially to the innocent victim.

  • Say you are going 70 MPH and you are following a car going 60 MPH call it (60 MPH Car), but the 60 MPH car needs to slow for an offramp to 45, then 35, then 30 MPH as it goes on the ramp. You are closing on the 60 MPH Car at higher and higher speeds 10, 25, then 35 MPH and at 35 MPH you need 136 feet to stop your car and you will plow into the car at 35 MPH closing speed and that is collision that will destroy cars and kill people. Of course you could jam your breaks and pull around the slowing car and at 45 MPH, you pull in front of another guy going 70 MPH and you die from the force of the collision alone.

  • Condolences to the family and friends of the accident victim. This is such a terrible tragedy, and as more details are being released, it becomes even sadder.

  • “appeared to be speeding” & “high rate of speed”

    They could have been going 5MPH over the speed limit for all we know or possibly even going below the actual posted speed limit and technically been perceived to be driving at a high rate of speed. So without specifying the actual perceived speed, weather at that location at the time of impact as well as road road conditions, those two statements won’t hold well in court let alone the investigation.

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