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Driver flees after crash that kills star basketball player


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POSTED: Monday, July 20, 2009

A former Roosevelt High School basketball star died yesterday after she was ejected from the back of a pickup truck in a crash on Moanalua Freeway.

Family members identified her as Alexis “;Tati”; Beasley, 21, of Punchbowl.

Police are looking for the driver who left the scene on foot, leaving Beasley to die.

Police said the driver lost control at about 1:45 a.m. in the Ewa-bound lanes and crashed into the right concrete barrier before the Ola Lane overpass.

Beasley's father, Ikaika Beasley, said he hopes the driver will turn himself in.

“;As a father, I don't hold anything against that person,”; he said. “;I believe the only way for that person to have peace with themselves is to come forward.”;

Tati Beasley found success through basketball despite a difficult childhood.

In her teen years, she reunited with her father, who said she told him she loved him on Friday.

Her mother is in prison, but she maintained a relationship, visiting her days before the crash.

;Beasley was an all-star basketball player at Roosevelt, helping her team win the Division II championships in 2004 and reach the state championships in 2006.

Despite her obstacles, she inspired other players.

“;Basketball saved my life,”; she told the Star-Bulletin in 2006.

Beasley graduated in 2006 and won a basketball scholarship to Hutchinson Community College in Kansas. She returned home about a year ago and worked at an auto body shop, friends said.

Friends and family members set up a memorial near the crash scene yesterday with flowers and a banner with her jersey number, 11.

Some friends stood beneath a shower tree, wondering who was driving the truck that belonged to Beasley's friend and why she was heading Ewa-bound when she and her friends live in town.

“;I have no idea why she would want to go that way,”; said Kelsey Maikui.

Said Richelle Eusebio, 18, whose graduation party Beasley attended Saturday night, “;She was like an older sister to me.”;