Update: Teen riding in bed of truck killed in crash - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Update: Teen riding in bed of truck killed in crash

Lt. David Nilson, HPD Lt. David Nilson, HPD

By Mari-Ela David - bio | email

KAILUA (HawaiiNewsNow) - According to the Honolulu Advertiser, the woman who caused the fatal accident on Kalanianaole Highway - Verna-Lee Kaleiwohi - was driving without a valid driver's license. Kaleiwohi has a history of minor traffic offenses. Her license was suspended for three months just hours before the fatal crash.

Honolulu police investigated a car accident in Kailua Wednesday evening that left a teenage boy dead.

The crash happened just after 6:30 p.m. on Kalanianaole Highway, near the Olomana Fire station and the entrance to the Hawaii Youth Correctional Facility.

Investigators say the crash happened in the Waimanalo-bound lanes of Kalanianaole Highway. A white pick-up truck was on the right lane, and a red BMW was in the left lane. Police say the truck then tried to make a u-turn.

"It was in the right lane, the far lane, crossed over the left lane to make the left hand turn past in front of the BMW," said Lt. David Nilson of the Honolulu Police Department.

The BMW crashed into the truck. Police say the driver of the pick-up is a 33-year-old female. Her 32-year-old husband was a passenger.  Two boys were riding in the bed of the truck - ages 12 and 13 years old.

Police say the 13-year-old was ejected, suffered critical injuries and died at Castle Medical Center. Initial reports said that he was run over by an oncoming blue truck going Kailua-bound, but police say that's not the case.

The yonger boy was not ejected from the truck but suffered serious injuries and was taken to the hospital.

Lt. Nilsen says the both are of legal age to ride in the truck bed.

"It's 11 and under is my understanding of the law, so 12 and over is okay, to my understanding they were in compliance with the law," said Nilsen.

Police say the family is from Waimanalo. Officers took the woman away in handcuffs and arrested her for negligent homicide.

Hawaii's truck bed law specifies that passengers in the bed are only allowed if there are no seats left in the cab and if they are not trying to restrain cargo.

It took more than 20 years to pass that law which went into effect in 1997.

There have been several attempts for a total ban - all have failed so far.


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