Early morning crash leaves 11-year-old Waimanalo boy dead

Early morning crash leaves 11-year-old Waimanalo boy dead
Carl Widemann
Carl Widemann
Herbert Kaio-Campbell
Herbert Kaio-Campbell

By Duane Shimogawa - bio | email

WAIMANALO (HawaiiNewsNow) - An early morning crash in East Oahu leaves two in the hospital and an 11-year-old boy dead.

Police say speed and alcohol are to blame and that two cars were racing along Kalanianaole Highway just before 2 a.m., Sunday, when one of the drivers slammed into the side of another car, that was just a few feet away from arriving home.

A Waimanalo family mourns the loss of a loved one. 11-year-old Samuel Kassebeer died in a two car accident.

"He was one cute kid and I watched him grow, within the past five years, I think he's almost bigger than me and he maybe he just started high school," Family friend Carl Widemann said.

His family says he loved football. He played in the Big Boys Football League and was to start practice next week.

"I remember him from when he was one baby, one cute big boy, he was big, he was really grown, just like his uncles, just like his family," Widemann said.

Widemann, a close family friend, witnessed the crash.

"Two cars were racing each other and they were overtaking to continue racing each other and I guess one of them just misjudged and overtook and hit these innocent people, this family, right here, who were just trying to come home," he said.

Police say Kassebeer and his two aunts were in their White Hyundai Elantra, about to turn left into their driveway, when a speeding car tried to overtake them, but instead crashed into them.

It spun them around and Kassebeer, who was in the back seat, was ejected through the window and landed on the side of the road.

"He had his whole future going, especially for football," Widemann said.

Police say the driver who hit Kassebeer and his aunts is 20-year-old Herbert Kaio-Campbell of Waimanalo.

He was arrested for drunk driving and first degree negligent homicide.

Ironically, just last week, he was awarded the Medal of Valor for saving someone's life from the City and County of Honolulu.

Kaio-Campbell pulled a drowning teenager from the water at Makapuu Beach Park last October.

Meanwhile, authorities are still looking for the second car that Kaio-Campbell may have been racing with.

People who live along a stretch of Kalanianaole Highway say people need to slow down.

"This isn't the first one, I've witnessed so many accidents," Widemann said. "Between Sandy Beach and Makapuu, there's like nothing, there's no residence, there's no nothing, so everybody speeds there, by the time they reach here, they reach the residents, so that's when they have to start slowing down and a lot of times it's too late by the time they start to slow down. It's hard to believe that he's not around."

Police say none of the four people involved in the accident appeared to have been using seatbelts.

This is the 33rd fatal crash this year on Oahu. That's compared to 37 at the same time from last year.

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