Driver in deadly Makua Cave crash still not charged - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Driver in deadly Makua Cave crash still not charged

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

The 18-year-old who was driving a pickup truck that crashed near Makua Cave Saturday morning killing one passenger appeared in court today on unrelated charges.  Kamealohanakekaiau Wilbur-Delima pled no contest to three counts of driving without a license and not guilty to one count of failing to have motor vehicle insurance in district court Monday afternoon.

Wilbur-Delima still has not been charged in this weekend's deadly accident.

Police say Wilbur-Delima was driving a truck with as many as 11 other teens when he slammed into a concrete barrier on Farrington Highway just after midnight Saturday, killing one passenger as the pickup burst into flames.

"He was arrested for negligent homicide as well as failure to render aid.  We're still investigating, but we believe speed and alcohol were factors in the collision," said Major Kurt Kendro of the Honolulu Police Department.

Four teens – ages 13, 14, 15, and 16 – were rushed to the hospital in serious condition.

Fire officials found the body of one passenger outside the truck.  According to the medical examiner, a positive identification will have to be made via dental records.  Witnesses and friends say he's 16-year-old Zain Lalawai of Waianae.

Wilbur-Delima was not taken into custody at the scene.  Police say he ran off, along with several other passengers, and waited nearly 12 hours before turning himself in.

"Blood draw was not done as we would normally do after a negligent homicide because he did turn himself in so many hours after," explained Maj. Kendro.

The circumstances of Wilbur-Delima's arrest led to mixed reaction on the Hawaii News Now Facebook page.

"Give him credit," one viewer posted.

"He did the right thing by manning up," another wrote.

"He didn't man up, he sobered up, then turned himself in after a breathalyzer test would not count," one person replied.

"He avoided a DUI, that's all he did," another commented.

Police admit it's an unusual situation.

"Normally when there's a bad crash people will stop and tell us what happened. In this case, we had all the participants or all the people that were involved in the crash just bailed and just ran away.  That was a very unusual situation. It's not normally what we would see.  People want to help each other, especially in Hawaii," described Maj. Kendro.

Without a blood draw or breathalyzer test, police say they have to rely on witness testimony and what they found on the scene, which they say hasn't pointed to any evidence of drinking.

"If it did, it was burned up.  There was nothing left.  That truck, it burned up pretty well.  It's just a shell," said Maj. Kendro.

Wilbur-Delima could be released on bail Monday night if he can post a $330 bond on the four outstanding traffic violations police held him with after he turned himself in Saturday afternoon. 

Despite prosecutor's objections, the judge set bail after listening to Wilbur-Delima's public defender explained he was young and not a flight risk, but would stay with hanai family if released on his own recognizance.

After entering his pleas, Wilbur-Delima quietly told the judge he was 18-years-old and hasn't graduated from high school.  He's scheduled to be back in court next week.

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