POLICE SEEK OPERATOR OF VAN
3 hurt, driver flees
Police were looking last night for the driver of a van who fled the scene of an accident on Nimitz Highway that critically injured one man and left two other people with serious injuries.
The incident is the fifth hit-and-run crash on Oahu involving injuries since the beginning of October.
Police said at 3:42 yesterday morning a 34-year-old man and an 18-year-old man from Hickam Air Force Base were attaching a motorcycle trailer to the back of a 1996 Ford Mustang on the Ewa-bound side of Nimitz Highway when a 2002 Chevy van hit them and rear-ended the trailer and the Mustang.
The 34-year-old man was taken to the Queen's Medical Center in critical condition, while the 18-year-old man and a 40-year-old woman, who was in the passenger seat of the Mustang, were hospitalized in serious condition.
Police said the van veered right off the roadway and into a highway sign and the driver fled on foot. Police said the van had not been reported stolen and are looking for the driver. Investigators said they have identified a possible suspect.
Police Sgt. Alan Vegas said speed was an apparent factor in the crash. Officers closed off all westbound Nimitz Highway lanes between Ohohia Street and Catlin Drive during the investigation.
Yesterday's crash was the 18th case this year involving drivers failing to render aid in accidents involving injuries.
There have been five reported hit-and-run accidents on Oahu in the past six weeks, involving eight injuries.
»Yesterday: A 34-year-old man was critically injured, and an 18-year-old man and 40-year-old woman suffered serious injuries, during a hit-and-run accident on Nimitz Highway, west of Ohohia Street.
» Nov. 2: A 35-year-old woman was critically injured when a Toyota sport utility vehicle hit her as she was walking her bicycle across Hamakua Drive near Aoloa Street in a marked crosswalk.
» Oct. 21: A gray or silver sport utility vehicle hit 13-year-old Matt Bonilla, who was walking a bicycle in a crosswalk across Kamehameha Highway headed toward Aiea Kai Place. He suffered a broken leg.
» Oct. 19: Two Schofield Barracks soldiers, ages 18 and 20, were struck by a white 2002 Nissan Altima as they were fixing a flat tire on the H-1 Freeway near the Honolulu Airport. Both men were hospitalized in serious condition.
» Oct. 1: A Jeep reversing out of a parking stall hit Ethyl Meckel, a woman in her 90s, in the Iwilei K-mart parking lot. Meckel suffered a fractured hip and is in a care home.