Jennifer Jones was heading home on the H-1 Freeway Sunday night when an SUV in front of her suddenly swerved near the Waialae Avenue off-ramp.
“Just take a sharp turn left and sharp turn right into the median,” Jones said.
It was a violent crash. Smoke was pouring out of the SUV and Jones immediately pulled over to help, her keys still in the ignition.
“There was a woman hanging half out of the passenger’s side and she looked pretty bad. There was blood all over her,” Jones said.
Jones pulled the woman out of the SUV. Two men were also in the vehicle, one stumbled toward the injured woman while the other, believed to be the driver, approached Jones.
“He was behind me and asked if I needed a taxi, which is an odd thing to ask at an accident scene, but I turned around and I said, ‘No sir. We’re waiting for an ambulance,’” Jones said.
What happened next stunned her.
“He just kind of backed away looking at me, but backed away this way and then all of a sudden my brake lights went on and burned rubber and screeched off,” Jones said. “It happened so fast and I’m sitting there trying to attend to her and stop her bleeding and it took a minute to register that this man just stole my car.”
Police were quickly on the scene and told her the SUV was stolen. The injured woman claimed she was a victim.
“She said that she was hitchhiking and that this man had held a knife to her and they were struggling over a knife in the car, which initially caused the accident,” Jones said.
Christopher Daniels, 22, was arrested for unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle and an outstanding warrant. The woman was treated at the hospital and then released.
When Jones got home, she remembered that her phone was in her bag and launched her Find My iPhone app.
“I turned it on and activated and then immediately pinpoint it in Kaimuki, not even a mile away from the accident,” Jones said.
Her blue Miata was found on 12th Avenue.
“You open the trunk and you find?” KHON2 asked.
“And I find his clothes. That’s what really gave me goose skin when I seen it,” Jones said. “I would never expect it in Hawaii. It’s like where’s the aloha in this?”
“To steal the car of someone that was trying to help you is kind of a slap in the face,” Jones said.
The man who stole her car remains at large.
Jones is grateful no one else was injured and says leaving the car on may have been a blessing.
“Even as criminals, they’re still human and I hope they heal from their injuries and are ok after all of this,” Jones said. “It’s not going to hinder me from helping someone again. I’m not going to let their bad behavior change my good behavior.”