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Victim now believed to have been the driver in fatal Moanalua crash


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POSTED: Sunday, September 13, 2009

QUESTION: Whatever happened to the search for a possible driver who may have fled the scene of a fatal crash on Moanalua Freeway on July 19?

ANSWER: The body of 21-year-old Tatiana Beasley, a former Roosevelt High School basketball star, was found near a truck that crashed into a concrete barrier on Moanalua Freeway near the Ola Lane overpass about 1:45 a.m. July 19.

Police said they were looking for an unknown driver who apparently fled the scene. But investigators now believe Beasley was behind the wheel.

“;We're pretty certain that she was the driver and that she got ejected from the cab of the vehicle,”; said Lt. Darren Izumo, of the Honolulu Traffic Division. Police suspected Beasley may have been driving, but kept the possibility open that another driver crashed the truck and fled because a witness saw other cars leaving the area, Izumo said. The witness, who heard the crash, approached the freeway quickly enough to see several vehicles pull away. Investigators determined the other vehicles were unrelated to the crash.

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In the event that the bystanders were acquaintances of Beasley, they would have paused to see if she was OK, but they left as quickly as the witness arrived, Izumo said. The other vehicles were probably stopped before the crash and fled afterward without knowing someone had been killed, he said.

Officers also determined it was unlikely a driver had fled up the steep embankment where Beasley's truck crashed. The truck also had crash marks consistent with hitting barriers and not other vehicles.

Investigators learned that Beasley was headed toward her work place, Izumo said.

“;When we interviewed all these people, that made sense,”; he said. “;It all fell into place.”;

Beasley had a 0.227 blood alcohol content, nearly three times the legal limit of 0.08. Friends had said she was at a graduation party before the crash.

Ikaiki Beasley, Beasley's father, who was still mourning her death, wouldn't talk about the accident and said he only wanted his daughter to be remembered. He thanked the community for its support at a basketball fundraiser last month to raise money for her funeral.