Police: Alcohol appears to be factor in fatal rollover crash on H-1

Police: Alcohol appears to be factor in fatal rollover crash on H-1
Kortney Biton-Schubert
Kortney Biton-Schubert

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Honolulu police have opened negligent homicide and negligent injury cases following a rollover crash that killed one young woman and critically injured four other young adults who appeared to be riding in an open-aired Jeep.

Police say the single-car crash happened a quarter-mile east of the Vineyard Boulevard off-ramp on the H-1 Freeway around 9:40 Wednesday night.

Friends and family identified the woman who died in the crash as 18-year-old Kortney Biton-Schubert of Aliamanu.

"Kortney was very positive, she was on her way," said Theresa Schubert, Kortney's cousin. "She was truly trying to figure herself."

Officials say four people -- a 19-year-old male driver, a 20-year-old female passenger, a 22-year-old male passenger and a 19-year-old male passenger -- were transported in critical condition to the trauma center which is the Queen's Medical Center. As of Friday morning, three of the victims were released, while one remained in critical condition.

According to traffic investigators, it appears that no one was wearing a seat belt when the driver, who has a Wahiawa address, somehow lost control and hit a guardrail on the south side, sending the vehicle into a roll and ejecting all of the passengers. Witnesses said he was driving erratically prior to the crash.

Police believe the driver had been drinking alcohol, but it's not known if the other individuals were drinking. It's also unclear of speed is a factor.

Schubert's family members have many unanswered questions, including who the other four victims are and how she ended up in that Jeep last night.

"Just trying to deal with the why, knowing that it was totally preventable," Theresa Schubert said. "Why did she jump in the car with someone who was drinking?"

Police shut down a portion of the H-1 freeway heading east near the Vineyard off-ramp, but roads were reopened at around 1 a.m. Thursday.

This is the 31st traffic fatality this year compared to 38 last year, according to police.

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