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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, April 26, 2010

Driver killed in fiery H-1 crash

Advertiser Staff

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

The driver of this car was killed when the vehicle left H-1 Freeway, knocked down a light pole and slammed into a pillar supporting the Kokohead overpass.

Courtesy Hawaii News Now

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Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

This photo, shot from the Kokohead overpass, shows a tire track on the embankment of the off-ramp where a car left the freeway this morning before knocking down a light pole and slamming into a pillar of the overpass.

DAVID YAMADA | The Honolulu Advertiser

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The driver of a car was killed this morning in a fiery crash on H-1 Freeway at the Kokohead overpass.

Traffic investigators say the car, a 1996 Toyota Camry, was in the far left lane and headed east at a high rate of speed when it veered across the freeway and drove up the embankment of the Kokohead off-ramp.

The car then returned to the freeway, knocking down a light pole and slamming into a pillar of the overpass before bursting into flames.

The crash was reported at 2:09 a.m.

All east-bound lanes in the area of the overpass were closed until 5:30 a.m.

Honolulu police Lt. David Nilsen said the driver was the vehicle's only occupant.

Nilsen said speed was "definitely" a factor in the crash. Police have not yet determined if alcohol or drugs were involved.

City traffic camera images and television news video showed the sedan's front end completely crushed and scorched.

Nilsen said the driver was burned beyond recognition. He said police have a tentative identification, but are not prepared to release the information at this time.

Bryan Cheplic of the city's Emergency Services Department said due to the condition of the body, it was turned over directly to the medical examiner's office.

Police said this is the 21st traffic fatality of the year, compared with 24 at this time last year.