Police: honked horn leads to deadly crash at McDonald's drive-thru - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Police: honked horn leads to deadly crash at McDonald's drive-thru

Albert Birmingham Albert Birmingham
Joey Pace Joey Pace
Tausaga Paulo Tausaga Paulo

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

NANAKULI (HawaiiNewsNow) - A honked horn appears to be what set people off in a McDonald's drive-thru, leading to a crash that killed a young woman Sunday.

Police have opened a murder investigation. They say the suspect was intoxicated when he entered the 24-hour drive-thru located in Nanakuli.

The suspect is identified as Albert Birmingham, a Punchbowl resident and the owner of a carpet and upholstery cleaning business.

"I don't know what he was doing in Nanakuli," Joey Pace, the suspect's roommate, said.

Pace was worried when his roommate, Albert "Bill" Birmingham, 36, failed to come home. Now he's stunned, after learning his friend was arrested in connection with a violent dispute at the McDonald's Restaurant in Nanakuli.

"I don't know how he hurt the girl," Pace said. "Did something happen or he snapped or something? But I don't know that side of the story, so I can't say anything."

Police say a 45-year-old man pulled out of the drive-thru, parked his car and confronted Birmingham, after Birmingham, who was next in line, honked his horn at him.

Investigators say a 20-year-old woman and a 15-year-old girl, who were passengers in the first car, tried to break up the argument, and were hit by the suspect's SUV as he fled the scene.

"Maybe one of the guy driver just keep talking to him in a bad way," Pace said. "Maybe he snapped and maybe that's the reason why, but I'm not really sure."

Officers arrested the suspect near Tausaga Paulo's home on Holopono Street.

"About five or six cops that were there," Paulo said.

"What were you thinking?" this reporter asked.

"I said what's going on because I thought maybe one of my neighbors or something because all I heard was McDonald's," Paulo replied.

The 20-year-old victim later died. The teenaged girl was treated for her injuries and released.

"One of my co-workers came in and said that she passed by and saw someone on the ground at McDonald's," Paulo said. "So I put two and two together."

Birmingham was booked on suspicion of murder, attempted murder, driving under the influence, driving with a suspended or revoked license, and having an open container of alcohol in the car.

"Very sad, very sad," Paulo said.

That McDonald's expects to re-open its drive-thru lane sometime Monday.


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