Manslaughter for fatal crash

LIHUE — A driver involved in a fatal collision in December was indicted on manslaughter charges Wednesday in 5th Circuit Court.

Joseph Michael Frye, 36, formerly of Koloa, faces charges on manslaughter, along with second-degree negligent homicide, second-degree reckless endangering, and reckless driving from his role in a traffic collision that caused the death of Jonathan Renti Cruz, 56, of Kekaha on the morning of Dec. 6.

Frye is wanted on a bench warrant with bail set at $100,000.

According to the Kauai Police Department, the three-car crash occurred around 10 a.m. on Kaumualii Highway near Halfway Bridge. Frye was driving a Ford pickup truck that veered into the opposite lane and collided with a Chevy sedan driven by Renti Cruz.

Frye also clipped the front end of a Ford Mustang while trying to pass it on the shoulder prior to the collision with the Chevy sedan.

The 27-year-old Koloa woman who was driving the Mustang did not require medical attention.

Frye was treated and released from Wilcox Memorial Hospital, when he was then arrested, booked and released with charges pending the investigation.

Frye has no criminal history in Hawaii.

His only prior traffic infraction occurred on Nov. 8, 2013, when he was cited for disregarding a traffic control device at an intersection and paid a $97 fine.

Changes to manslaughter, from second-degree manslaughter.


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