Police: Driver struck Honolulu pedestrians at high speed

HONOLULU — A suspected drunken driver slammed into a crowded Honolulu traffic island at about 50 mph (80 kph) and killed three pedestrians, police said at a preliminary hearing Monday.

Honolulu Police Cpl. Jason Tanaka testified about speed estimates from last week’s crash.

Alins Sumang looked down for most of the hearing as witnesses testified about what happened before and after. He’s charged with three counts of manslaughter in the deaths of Casimir Pokorny of Pennsylvania, Reino Ikeda of Japan and William Lau of Honolulu.

The truck veered across three lanes, climbed a traffic island, hit six pedestrians, and then crashed into another truck, police said. Three people, including the driver of the second truck, were hospitalized, and one was treated and released.

Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard called it one of Honolulu’s worst crashes.

Cesar Garcia testified he was driving along Ala Moana Boulevard when he heard tires screeching from a pickup truck speeding next to him. He said he saw the truck slam into a traffic pole with so much force that the pole made a clean cut and landed straight.

“They all got wiped— taken out,” he said of the people on the traffic island. He ran over to help and described the “carnage” he saw, including a woman who was clearly dead.

Lorna Nagamine was at a stop light waiting to turn when she heard what sounded like a speeding car. “I heard like a screeching and then I heard just screams,” she said. There was a cloud of dust when she got out of her car and walked across the street, where she saw people lying on the ground.

Officer Suaesi Tuimaunei testified that he found a bottle of vodka in the truck Sumang was driving. Sumang was belligerent and cursed at emergency workers, the officer said.

Sumang was not expected to testify.


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