1 dead, 2 injured in early-morning crash near Keaau Beach Park

One man is dead and two others were injured after a crash in West Oahu.

It happened at around 2:25 a.m. near Keaau Beach Park.

According to the Honolulu Police Department, a four-door sedan was traveling town-bound on Farrington Highway when it hit an unoccupied parked truck. The car rolled over about 50 yards from the crash site, down an eight-foot embankment on the beach.

“The vehicle went off the roadway, hit a grassy hill, went airborne, struck the pickup truck behind me, flipped over several times onto the beach area, and landed several hundred feet onto the beach,” said Lt. Andre Peters, Honolulu Police Department.

The front of the pickup truck was torn off from the impact.

A 21-year-old man was in the back seat and was thrown from the car. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Honolulu Medical Examiner identified him as Troy Kahooilihala Jr.

Officials said speed and alcohol were possible factors in the crash.

“As you can see, there are beer bottles and a cooler on the beach area which came from that vehicle,” Peters said. “This is a tragic reminder that, you know, don’t get into a vehicle if someone is drinking and driving.”

The driver, a 24-year-old man, and front-seat passenger, a 19-year-old man, had to be extricated and were taken to Queen’s Medical Center, both in serious condition.

The driver and passenger were both wearing seat belts. Kahooilihala was not wearing a seat belt.

News spread quickly and dozens of friends and family came to the site. We spoke to family members who say they’ll remember their son as a gentle giant.

“Everybody calls him a big teddy bear. He was just a good kid,” said his father, Troy Kahooilihala Sr.

“That’s my brother, one good guy. We grew up together,” said his childhood friend, Shaeden Meyer. “He was on his way, making good money, and all of this happened.”

Farrington Highway was reopened after being completely closed between Keaau Beach Park and Waikomo Beach Park while HPD investigated the crash.

“If you guys are driving, there’s no need to rush to go home. Take your time, get home safe,” said Kahooilihala Sr.

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