High school senior killed; five other teens hurt in crash - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

High school senior killed; five other teens hurt when pickup flips over

Melissa Miranda Melissa Miranda
Sarissa Abendanio Sarissa Abendanio
Ron Steffens Ron Steffens

By Duane Shimogawa - bio | email

KALAELOA (HawaiiNewsNow) - A small memorial of flowers, slippers, broken glass and a trail of mud mark the scene of a deadly accident on a stretch of Roosevelt Road.

Neighbors say emergency crews alerted them to the tragedy.

"Lots of sirens, came outside, looked down the street and every color flashing light you could imagine on the street and they just kept coming, ambulances, fire trucks, police," A witness who wanted to remain anonymous said.

They rushed to an overturned truck. Six teens were thrown from the bed when it crashed.

18-year-old Melissa Miranda was killed. She was a Kaimuki High senior who was just weeks away from getting her diploma.

"Sad because there's eight of them and only her passed away," Miranda's friend Sarissa Abendanio said.

Abendanio is not only a close friend, but a neighbor as well. They just saw each other a couple days ago at the mall.

"She's funny, she likes to make people laugh, like she's kind of dense in a funny way," Abendanio said.

Four other passengers and the 18-year-old driver also went to the hospital. Ron Steffens lives seconds away from where it happened.

He says he often hears drivers buzzing by way above the posted speed limit.

"Speed limit's 25, but they tend to go a lot faster, because it's just real easy to speed, especially back here, there's not really a lot of traffic, so it's kind of like a back road," he said.

Police say Miranda is the 22nd traffic fatality this year compared to 25 at this time last year.

Sources say the driver was 18-year-old Bethany Robert. She was arrested on charges of first-degree negligent homicide but released pending investigation.

This accident comes just a month after a 13-year-old boy was thrown from a truck bed in Olomana.  Under Hawaii state law anyone can ride in the back of a truck, only those under 13 years old need safety harnesses. Some lawmakers have been pushing for decades for an overall ban; but it hasn't yet happened.

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