Driver arrested in Moanalua freeway critical crash

Maj. Clayton Kau
Maj. Clayton Kau
Brennon Morioka, Director of the State Department of Transportation
Brennon Morioka, Director of the State Department of Transportation

By Mari-Ela David - bio | email

MOANALUA (KHNL) - A car crash on Oahu badly injured a young woman and teenaged boy. Police say they may be the victims of a reckless driver.

Honolulu Police say the driver is 20-years-old. Officers arrested Matthew Bailey Monday morning for driving under the influence and for negligent injury.

Now, the search is on for the other car that investigators say may have played a role in the crash.

It was a car crash so severe, the rooftop collapsed. Police say Bailey was driving a 1994 White Honda and was going eastbound on Moanalua freeway near the Red Hill off-ramp.

Around 2:40 a.m., investigators say the car flipped over after it struck an embankment, and hit a tree.

Paramedics took two passengers to the hospital: a 20-year-old female in critical condition, and a 17-year-old male in serious condition.

The driver suffered only minor injuries.

"Speed and alcohol were involved, or were contributing factors in the collision. Also, we believe that the vehicle involved may have been involved in a road race prior to the collision," said Maj. Clayton Kau of the Honolulu Police Department.

Police closed three eastbound lanes of Moanalua freeway to investigate the crash.

It took four hours before lanes re-opened.

To help alleviate backups during the morning rush hour, crews opened up the zipper lane to all traffic.

"It's a very rare occasion and we do it very cautiously, but we have done it. I believe this is the third time we've done it in the last two years," said Brennon Morioka, Director of the State Department of Transportation.

So far this year, 31 people have died in traffic collisions on Oahu roads. That's more deaths than the same time last year, which had 21 traffic deaths. 2007 had 37 traffic fatalities up to June 15.

The hope is these statistics will not include the two passengers hospitalized, as they fight for a speedy recovery.

Police released Bailey pending further investigation.

If you saw the crash, or the other car that may have been racing with the honda that crashed, Honolulu police urge you to call CrimeStoppers immediately.