Truck crash in Laie leaves young man in critical condition

Bill Brooks
Bill Brooks

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

LAIE (KHNL) - A young man was rushed to the hospital in critical condition following an early-morning truck crash on Oahu's North Shore.

People who live near the scene say it's the latest in a string of crashes on a stretch of Kamehameha Highway fronting Laie Elementary.

Area residents say a loud noise that sounded like an explosion jolted them awake at about 2:30 am. Unfortunately, it's a sound that's becoming all too familiar to them.

Bill Brooks is getting accustomed to rushing out of his Laie home and finding a smashed vehicle.

"We heard a loud crash," he said. "It woke me up from a sound sleep."

An 18-year-old Hauula man lost control of his truck, which slammed into a sign, a tree and a fence.

"This is actually a 25 mile an hour zone," Brooks said. "And I don't think anybody goes less than 35."

The driver told police he had swerved to avoid a pedestrian.

"He was clearly feeling it deeply," Brooks said about the driver. "But he was in good possession of his senses."

The driver walked away from the crash. But his passenger, a 19-year-old man, was critically hurt.

"It's very upsetting to know that someone is in the car and there's precious little you can do about it," Brooks said. "There was just no way of getting that person out of the car."

Brooks says it's a sobering reminder of the need for drivers to slow down, especially on a stretch fronting Laie Elementary School.

"Of the four accidents we know of that have happened in the past two-and-a-half years along this very short stretch, two of them were in the middle of the day on school days."

Investigators believe speed was a factor in the crash, but say alcohol was not.