2 killed, 1 injured in car crashes
A Haleiwa accident occurs near an area of the road known to be dangerous
Two people died and another was listed in serious condition yesterday after they were involved in two separate crashes.
One of the accidents occurred near a stretch of road that has been called dangerous by residents and authorities. At about 4:45 a.m. a 27-year-old woman, identified by the Department of the Medical Examiner as Winona A.L. Tuupoina of Wahiawa, was traveling north on Kaukonahua Road in a 2002 Mazda.
Police said she drifted off the roadway and struck a guardrail. Tuupoina then maneuvered back onto the roadway and crossed the yellow-colored round bumps on the center line and into the southbound lane.
Police said she collided head-on into a 1991 Chevy van driven by a 61-year-old Haleiwa man. The collision occurred about nine-tenths of a mile south of Farrington Highway.
Tuupoina was pronounced dead at the scene. The 61-year-old man was taken to the Queen's Medical Center in critical condition and later upgraded to serious condition, said Bryan Cheplic, spokesman for Emergency Medical Services.
Both Tuupoina and the 61-year-old man were not wearing seat belts at the time of the crash. Airbags in the Mazda deployed upon impact, but airbags in the Chevy did not, police said. An autopsy on Tuupoina will be done today to determine the exact cause of death.
Five months earlier, two teenagers, both 18, died near the crash site.
Also yesterday, another crash might have caused the death of a 39-year-old Honolulu man on Tantalus Drive.
Just before 11 a.m., police said, the man was heading north on Tantalus Drive near Kolonahe Place in a white 1996 Honda Accord. As he approached a curve in the roadway, police said, he went over an asphalt curbing and struck a shallow embankment.
He was taken to Straub Clinic & Hospital in critical condition with head and leg injuries. Police said he was pronounced dead at the hospital.
It is unknown whether he was wearing a seat belt.
There are conflicting reports on whether the 39-year-old man died because of medical reasons or because of injuries sustained in the accident. But Cheplic, the EMS spokesman, said the man's death was due to medical-related reasons that were not related to the crash.
Police said speed was not a factor in either accident yesterday. But it is unknown at this time whether alcohol was a factor in either of them.
The two deaths were this year's 71st and 72nd traffic-related fatalities on Oahu, compared with 58 and 59 at the same time last year.