by: Minna Sugimoto
(KHNL) - A Kalihi woman is dead and her boyfriend is under arrest. It all happened after a single-car crash near the Hygienic Store in Kahaluu Wednesday morning.
A banged-up SUV lands upright after flipping over. Inside, the 31-year-old female passenger is dead.
"You think about if, did they have children, you know, were they tourists just on vacation," Kevin Akana, Windward Baptist Church, said. "And you kind of think about the family, especially this time of year."
Akana is the pastor of a church nearby. He's seen first-hand how dangerous the stretch of Kamehameha Highway fronting his church can be.
"Just when we cross the street to go to 7-Eleven, it takes, it can take awhile," he said. "And people are normally traveling at high speeds."
Police say speed and alcohol are factors in the crash, which happened at about 4:40 a.m. Traffic in the area slows to a crawl during the investigation.
The woman's boyfriend is not seriously hurt. Officers arrest 33-year-old Robert Lawson on suspicion of negligent homicide and driving under the influence.
"You shouldn't be drinking and driving," Akana said. "This is the kind of stuff that happens."
But people do. Between January 1st and November 30th of this year, police say they made 3,146 drunken driving arrests.
"When someone's intoxicated, they're obviously going to have trouble driving," Akana said. "And usually, the people that ends up, or a lot of times the people that end up getting hurt are the innocent ones, the passengers or even someone in other vehicles."
The Medical Examiner's office identified the woman as Marilyn Richard. She's the 88th person to die on Oahu's roadways this year.