Car theft in Manoa ends in fatal crash after high speed chase on H-1

What started as a car theft ended with a fatal crash as the suspect tried to evade police.

Police first responded to a report of a stolen car in Manoa at about 12:30 a.m. on December 30.

They found it at the intersection of Dole Street and University Avenue.

Police say when officers tried to pull it over, the driver refused and instead lead police on a chase that ended several miles away in a fatal crash.

Several residents on the corner of Vineyard and Palama Street tell me they heard the loud crash at around 12:45 a.m.

“I mean it woke me up,” Mark Pupilla said.

Pupilla lives off of Vineyard Avenue.

“That’s how loud it was. As soon as I heard the accident, I came to my window and I saw immediately there were police instantaneously after the accident, so I would automatically assume it was a high speed chase. ”

Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard said police spotted the stolen vehicle driven by the suspect. The suspect is described as a male approximately 30-years-old.

When the suspect got onto the freeway at University Avenue, police turned on their sirens and tried to pull him over.

“The suspect refused to stop,” Ballard explained. “And a pursuit was declared.”

One white police car and one subsidized vehicle were involved in the chase according to Ballard. She said the chase continued on H1 westbound until the suspect got off the freeway at the Vineyard offramp.

“He struck a vehicle stopped in traffic and then hit a second vehicle at Palama street,” Ballard said.

None of the occupants in the two other vehicles were seriously injured.

“(The suspect) was not wearing a seat belt,” Ballard said. “So he was ejected through the driver side window and he flew a pretty good distance and he collided with a traffic sign median in the middle of the road.”

She said he was taken to the Queen’s Medical Center where he later died.

Pupilla pointed to Palama Street facing toward the mountains, “They were located here. They blocked this interception off… all the way down under the highway.”

Chief Ballard said the identity of the suspect is still unknown and they are waiting for the toxicology report and the autopsy to determine whether alcohol or drugs played any role in the crash.

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