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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Tuesday, July 29, 2003

4 hurt in accident after carjacking

Firefighters assist a female in a vehicle that was rammed by a carjacked Lexus.

Dario Belenfante • Special to The Advertiser

By Allison Schaefers
Advertiser Staff Writer

Four people were injured and one man was arrested yesterday after a carjacking in Honolulu led to a serious traffic accident several blocks away at what has been described as one of the state's most dangerous intersections.

Police said a 31-year-oldman stole a Lexus CS300 at about 3:45 p.m. from a woman who had parked the car in a lot at the corner of Philip Street and Kalakaua Avenue with the motor running, said Honolulu police Sgt. Christopher Lowell.

The woman was running errands nearby when she noticed the man attempting to take her car. She tried to stop him and was hit by the car, Lowell said.

The woman was treated at the scene for minor injuries, he said.

The fleeing car thief disregarded a red light at the busy intersection of Punahou Street and King Street near the Pee Wee Drive Inn and collided with a Dodge Neon that was traveling east on King Street, Lowell said.

The suspected thief took off running, but police arrested him about a block away on Young Street, Lowell said.

Police said they are opening a negligent injury investigation against the suspect.

The collision, which caused the Neon to hit a light pole, injured the Neon's male driver and two children. The driver, 45, and an 11-year-old boy were taken to The Queen's Medical Center in stable condition. The condition of a girl passenger was unknown, Lowell said.

"It was like an explosion," said Manny Russo, a Punahou Street resident, of the crash. "The sound woke me up from a nap."

Russo and his neighbors, who gathered on the sidewalk outside the yellow police tape to watch officers wrap up their investigation, said they've seen plenty of traffic accidents in the neighborhood, but never one that was the result of a carjacking.

"Accidents are a common thing, but this wasn't just a regular wreck," Russo said.

The intersection of King Street and Punahou Street was listed as the most dangerous in the state in 2001 by State Farm Insurance, the nation's largest auto insurer.

State Farm put together the list based on claims by its policyholders in 1999 and 2000, the number of crashes at the site, and how many accidents involved injury.