A 46-year-old man faces multiple charges after the stolen truck he was operating collided head-on with a car, killing the 19-year-old female driver.
The collision occurred on Kuhio Highway in Kapaa, Kauai, in an area fronting the Courtyards at Waipouli apartment complex on Thursday.
According to police, the truck, which had been stolen from a home on Makaha Road moment earlier, was traveling south on the highway when it crossed the center line and struck a Mazda sedan driven by Kayla Huddy-Lemm.
Huddy-Lemm was transported to Wilcox Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead.
Following the impact, the truck continued on for 500 feet before coming to a stop near Kintaro Japanese Restaurant. The driver of the truck, Cody Safadago, fled the scene on foot and was later located near the Wailua Shopping Center. He was apprehended after a brief struggle and transported to Wilcox Medical Center for medical evaluation.
Safadago was later transported to the Lihue police station where he was arrested on suspicion of negligent homicide, accident involving death, unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle, operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant, resisting arrest, driving without a license, inattention to driving and reckless driving. He is being held in lieu of $32,000 bail.
Police said the incident is still under investigation but speed and alcohol appear to be contributing factors.
Safadago has an extensive criminal record and was once expelled from Belize while a fugitive from authorities in the United States.
According to Amandala, a Belize newspaper, Safadago, a former Washington state resident, illegally entered the Central American country in 2014 and was arrested and handed over to U.S. marshals for return. He had been wanted for parole violations.
The newspaper cited Safadago’s prior convictions for abuse, drug-related offenses and human trafficking.
Hawaii criminal records indicate that Safadago was convicted in 2012 for second-degree theft and was sentenced to six months in prison and five years of probation.
Kauai police said Safadago did not have a local address but was believed to have been living in Kalalau Valley.