Visitors Caught-Up in Car Thieves Chase

Kathy Kingston and her daughter, Kourtnie, speak with KHNL News 8 reporter Minna Sugimoto.
Kathy Kingston and her daughter, Kourtnie, speak with KHNL News 8 reporter Minna Sugimoto.

NORTH SHORE, OAHU (KHNL) - They were looking for sun and surf. They wound up with bumps and bruises. A Utah family's vacation takes a frightening turn, when a suspect crashes his vehicle into the tourists' rental car. KHNL News 8's Minna Sugimoto spoke with the victims.

Kathy Kingston imagined strolling on the beach, not limping out of a hospital. The visitor from Utah and her daughter were traveling along this scenic stretch of Kamehameha Highway, when a car came straight at them.

"It was just a nightmare," Kingston, crash victim, said. "The first thing that alerted me to it was that I saw the dust and the weeds on the side of the road. And it just looked like he was going faster and faster."

Earlier, police say a patrol officer spotted a 17-year-old boy punching the lock on a car that was parked near Chun's Reef. The suspect saw the officer, and jumped into a getaway vehicle that had two other males in it. Investigators say the suspects' car plowed into the tourists' vehicle a short distance away.

"I think it's very unfortunate, not only for us because we were physically affected but, you know, for them to have a life like that is pretty sad," Kourtnie Spencer, crash victim, said.

Police later learned the car was stolen from Waipahu.

"It mars our trip," Kingston said. "You know, we have to deal with the rental car company and the physical pain. I just feel like it's so sad, somebody so young just turning into a life of violence."

Ironically, Kingston is a nurse in Utah. Her daughter is a crime victims advocate.

"We love Hawaii. We'll be back," Spencer said. "You just know that you get some bad apples with the good bunch."

Police arrested the 17-year-old boy and a 21-year-old man after a brief foot chase. The third person in the stolen car was released at the scene.