Driver was sought
for violations

He is charged in a car crash
Wednesday that left one person dead

The 25-year-old driver of a stolen car that crashed into a Pearl City house Wednesday was wanted on bench warrants for a string of speeding and other traffic violations.

The driver is under investigation for failure to render aid, negligent homicide and auto theft.

He surrendered to police and was arrested at 1:10 a.m. yesterday for driving a stolen vehicle and fraudulent use of license plates.

Police said the Acura Integra crashed into a house at 895 Hoomoana St. on the corner with Waimano Home Road at 4:04 a.m. Wednesday, ramming two vehicles parked in the carport against the house.

Police said the car was stolen March 2 from a Mililani shopping center.

The driver was ticketed in July for driving 90 mph in a 55-mph zone, and in January for going 71 mph in a 55. In 2002 he was caught speeding 78 mph in a 55-mph zone, and 62 mph in a 55. He was also cited for driving without insurance.

According to a resident of the Hoomoana Street home, the man crawled out the car's window and fled, leaving his passenger to die.

The passenger, 38-year-old Kevin Urata, of Pearl City, was critically injured and taken to Pali Momi Medical Center, where he died.

Urata's friends said they do not know the driver. One of them, Andy Byers, had been with Urata not long before the crash but did not know where the car came from.

Urata was convicted in September of driving a stolen car and missed his sentencing last month.

Between 1995 and 2003, Urata was convicted of five third- and fourth-degree theft convictions, petty misdemeanors and misdemeanors. Urata was also convicted in 1997 of third-degree promotion of dangerous drugs, a felony, and sentenced to a year in prison.

"He was trying. He tried hard," said friend Karl Koja. "He just had so much things working against him."

Urata was released from prison into Koja's supervision. Urata had a crystal methamphetamine problem and was trying to get into a drug treatment center, Koja said.

Koja said Urata had quit before but faced day-to-day living problems.

Urata was trying to get into rehab, applied for jobs and had to make court appearances, but he did not have transportation.

"He was trying to do the right thing," said Byers, Urata's former cellmate. "It's hard coming out of jail and starting over."

Byers said Urata would keep him out of trouble and lift his spirits whenever he got depressed.

"He had a big heart," he said.

Koja said that while he went to work, Urata would help care and provide company for his mother, who suffers from Alzheimer's.

Urata started a garden in Koja's back yard, where a large squash hung on a trellis yesterday and new watermelon vines were sprouting.

"That's the only thing living we get to remember him," Koja said.


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