Respected Supervisor Killed in Crash

George Abcede, co-worker of crash victim Darren Delos Santos.
George Abcede, co-worker of crash victim Darren Delos Santos.

(KHNL) - He was a road crew supervisor, a husband, and the father of three adopted children. Family and friends are mourning the death of a man killed in a freak crash on the H-1 Freeway Tuesday.

Ask state highway workers to describe supervisor Darren Delos Santos, and they'll all say he's larger than life.

"He's a big guy, but his personality, he's very outgoing," George Abcede, victim's co-worker, said. "So he's always laughing, smiling."

The 42-year-old was a passenger in a Chevy pickup that crashed near the Makakilo off-ramp Tuesday. Police say a flatbed truck sideswiped the Chevy, causing it to strike the concrete median and flip over. Delos Santos died at a nearby hospital.

"We were pretty much in denial the whole time. We refused to believe it was him," Abcede said. "Our superintendent went down to Saint Francis West and confirmed that it was him, and it was pretty tough."

Delos Santos was off-duty at the time of the crash. He worked for the Department of Transportation for 23 years.

"He worked his way up from the bottom, from a laborer all the way up to mason and became the supervisor of the crew, the structures crew, and really took to the job, really put his whole heart and soul into it," Abcede said.

Ironically, his crew repairs concrete medians, just like the one his truck crashed into.

"His crew is out there working right now," Abcede said. "But I'm sure they're just trying to get through the day."

Police say Delos Santos was not wearing a seat belt.

Co-workers say his wife was driving the pickup. She's reported to be in good condition.