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Police turn up heat on reckless drivers


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POSTED: Saturday, February 28, 2009

A driver was highly intoxicated when his car smashed into the entrance of Wilson Tunnel early Thursday, killing himself and two passengers.

               

     

 

BY THE NUMBERS

        » So far this year, 17 people have been killed in 15 crashes on Oahu, compared with nine deaths at this time last year.
       

» Nine fatal crashes so far this year were related to speed.

       

» There were 46 Oahu traffic fatalities in 2008. At the current rate, Oahu will record more than 100 fatalities in 2009.

       

» In January, police issued about 5,400 speeding citations, compared with 4,339 in January 2008.

       

Source: Honolulu Police Department

       

 

       

Autopsy reports showed James Krzywonski's blood alcohol content was 0.225, almost three times the legal limit of 0.08. He was driving to the Windward side from a party in Honolulu.

The day after the crash, Honolulu police promised to send more officers to patrol the roadways to be on the lookout for speeding and drunken driving.

Police Deputy Chief Paul Putzulu said yesterday that police were worried because traffic-related deaths have almost doubled this year compared with the same time last year.

The police plea came a day after five people died on Oahu roadways this week:

» Thursday morning, Krzywonski was driving faster than 100 mph when he crashed his Audi on Likelike Highway, police said.

; Krzywonski had a history of speeding tickets, including one in August 2003 in the Wahiawa Division for going 118 mph in a 55-mph zone, according to court records. He was fined $200 and other fees totaling $37, the records show.

Krzywonski had been issued six speeding citations from 2001 to 2007, according to court documents.

In his other speeding cases, he was cited for going 11 to 23 mph over speed limits of 35 mph and 55 mph, the documents said.

One citation was issued in the Ewa Division. The others were in the Wahiawa Division.

The other two killed in Thursday's crash were Keone Cardenas, 25, and Amelia Albertsen, 22. Cardenas worked with Krzywonski at Haleiwa Joe's, and Albertsen was a doctoral student from Iowa, studying clinical psychology at Argosy University in Honolulu.

The Honolulu Medical Examiner's Office said all three died of multiple internal injuries from the crash and had alcohol in their blood.

;[Preview]  Slain Likelike Driver Had History Of Speeding
 

30-year-old James Krzywonski's driving record contained prior speeding citations.

Watch  ]

 

» In another Thursday crash, Wesley Garcia, 44, of Waianae died after he crashed a motorcycle in front of a school bus on Farrington Highway in Maili. He was hit by the bus and then dragged.

» On Sunday, Willie Davis, 35, of Kapolei was killed after he lost control of his motorcycle while going 100 mph on the H-1 freeway in Kaimuki, police said.

Police hope that public education and increased police presence will persuade motorists to drive more carefully.

“;Please slow down and drive safely,”; Putzulu said. “;If we see you speed, expect to be cited. If we see you driving drunk or impaired, expect to be arrested.”;

Putzulu asked residents to talk to their family and friends about driving carefully and not getting into a car operated by an intoxicated person or someone prone to driving dangerously.

This year, 17 people have died in 15 crashes on Oahu, compared with nine deaths at this time last year. Nine fatal crashes this year have been related to speed.

Police will form a task force if the increased police presence does not reduce traffic-related deaths, Putzulu said.

There were 46 traffic fatalities on Oahu last year. At the current rate of fatalities, there could be more than 100 deaths in 2009.

Police issued about 5,400 speeding citations in January, compared with 4,339 in January 2008. About 300 people were arrested for drunken driving.

“;Despite these efforts, our deaths continue to rise at an alarming rate,”; Putzulu said.