3 killed when truck plows into Honolulu intersection

  • In this photo taken Monday, Jan. 28, 2019, is the scene of a multiple vehicle accident involving two trucks and a bicyclist in Honolulu. Police say a suspected drunk driver in a pickup truck slammed into a crowded Honolulu intersection, killing two pedestrians and a bicyclist and injuring five people including himself. Alcohol and speed may have played a role in the crash shortly before 6:30 p.m. Monday in the Kakaako neighborhood, according to authorities. (Bruce Asato/Honolulu Star-Advertiser via AP)

  • In this photo taken Monday, Jan. 28, 2019, is the scene of a multiple vehicle accident involving two trucks and a bicyclist in Honolulu. Police say a suspected drunk driver in a pickup truck slammed into a crowded Honolulu intersection, killing two pedestrians and a bicyclist and injuring five people including himself. Alcohol and speed may have played a role in the crash shortly before 6:30 p.m. Monday in the Kakaako neighborhood, according to authorities. (Cindy Ellen Russell/Honolulu Star-Advertiser via AP)

HONOLULU — A suspected drunken driver remained hospitalized Tuesday facing manslaughter charges, a day after he drove a pickup truck into a crowded intersection, killing three pedestrians, Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard said.

“This is probably our most deadliest in many, many years,” Ballard said of Monday evening’s crash.

About 6:10 p.m., an officer was flagged down after a hit-and-run. The officer spotted the pickup and followed it. The officer lost sight of the speeding and weaving truck at one point, Ballard said, and then spotted it again. As the truck approached busy Ala Moana Boulevard, it veered across three lanes, climbed a traffic island, hit six pedestrians and a pole and then plowed into another pickup truck, Ballard said.

Speed and alcohol appeared to be factors, she said.

Two men and a woman were pronounced dead at the scene. Three people, including the driver of the other truck, remained in critical condition Tuesday. One man was treated and released.

The Honolulu medical examiner’s office identified the two men as 26-year-old Casimir Pokorny of Oreland, Pennsylvania, and 39-year-old William Lau of Honolulu. The identification of the 47-year-old woman was pending.

The suspect, 26, was under arrested while hospitalized and was expected to be booked on three counts of manslaughter, Ballard said. He has three prior convictions, including one for felony terroristic threatening, she said.

Police briefly re-closed the intersection Tuesday afternoon to take a measurement that wasn’t obtained Monday, Ballard said.

Ballard said she happened to be in the area for a function when the crashed happened and went to the scene to check on how officers were holding up.

“Everybody was shaken up,” she said.

The department plans to step up drunken-driving enforcement, she said.

5 Comments
  1. harry oyama January 29, 2019 5:29 pm Reply

    So the question is whether or not HPD was in hot pursuit of that speeding truck and if so, then HPD is also liable for the crash and open to a lawsuit.


  2. LMat January 30, 2019 9:04 am Reply

    Was the picture of the covered corpse necessary? If that were my son or daughter, I would not want that published.
    And I agree with Harry. Was a car chase part of the reason this person plowed through the intersection…?


  3. harry oyama January 30, 2019 11:48 am Reply

    I think there is a State law forbidding cops from hot pursuit chasing as a result in another deadly crash that killed the driver. The cop should have radio in a call to other cops instead of being some cowboy on the loose.


  4. Robin January 30, 2019 11:11 pm Reply

    This was a “suspected” drunk driver. The officer lost sight, so probably not a hot pursuit and the suspect when he approached a busy intersection the driver veered across 3 lanes probably to avoid traffic, maybe because he had seen the police and was then trying to get away. Would you just want the erratic and a suspected drunk driver not have any officer ever try to pull them over? When drunk drivers kill people all the time? And why on earth is the blame from comments on this article going onto the police officers instead of a drunk driver? People shouldn’t be drinking and driving at all and they need to make the penalties a lot stronger. Not this poor person who needs help, but this person who because they are irresponsible could kill someone just like this possible driver did.


  5. MIKE RULE February 1, 2020 11:45 am Reply

    Thank you! Especially after loosing two police officers recently. This guy had no problem plowing into those pedestrians without a thought how fast or how drunk he was and thinking he could out run the police in the first place. I wonder who he will blame now. He has destroyed many many many lives in this drunken selfish act. Peace


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