Driver who killed teen friend in Mokuleia crash goes on trial for - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Driver who killed teen friend in Mokuleia crash goes on trial for manslaughter

Keanan Tantog Keanan Tantog
Bobby Gouveia Bobby Gouveia
Gary Souza Gary Souza
Alexander Kinney Alexander Kinney

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Tears flowed in an Oahu courtroom Monday, as trial got underway for a young driver involved in a 2006 crash in Mokuleia that killed his friend and injured another.

Keanan Tantog walked into the courtroom, as his friends prepared to re-live a devastating crash.

Prosecutors say the then 18-year-old, who was driving with a blood-alcohol level of 0.11, lost control of his speeding car on Farrington Highway near Dillingham Airfield in October 2006. It slammed into a Civil Defense pole and flipped several times.

Bobby Gouveia, 18, who was in the front passenger seat, died at the scene.

Gary Souza was in another vehicle and says he rushed over to help his friend, Alexander Kinney, who was pinned in the back seat.

"Was Mr. Kinney saying anything?" Kory Young, deputy prosecutor, asked.

"His legs, he said he couldn't feel his legs and no move him," Souza said through tears.

Kinney suffered a fractured skull and a broken leg, but says he has no hard feelings toward the defendant.

"Nobody really thinks about the bad things, yeah, when you're having fun," the crash victim testified.

"You never thought or contemplated that you would get hurt, right?" William Bento, deputy public defender, asked. "You certainly didn't think or believe that Bobby was going to be killed, right?"

"No," Kinney replied.

Witnesses say Tantog and another driver were jockeying for position on the two-lane road just before the crash.

"It was just like a, we were overtaking, cut off, went back in, swerve, boom," Kinney said.

Tantog is charged with manslaughter and assault. The defense argues his actions were not reckless, and that he should be convicted of lesser charges.

"It was all of us in that car," Kinney said in the hallway following his testimony. "It wasn't just him driving, you know. It was all our decisions to get in that car, and I don't blame him for nothing."

The trial continues Tuesday.

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