Crash victim unidentified
By John Windrow
Advertiser Staff Writer
KA'ENA POINT — A motorist who was killed Saturday night in a one-car accident near Yokohama Bay was burned beyond recognition and will probably have to be identified by dental records, the Honolulu medical examiner's office said yesterday.
The medical examiner's office said the victim, who was in a rented car, "appeared to be a male."
The 7:26 p.m. Wai'anae Coast crash occurred near Hercules Rock, a popular spot for swimmers to jump into the ocean. The place is at 81-601 Farrington Highway, east of Satellite Tracking Station Road, near Yokohama Bay.
The blue, four-door, 2009 Nissan belonged to Enterprise Rent-A-Car, police said. It went over a seaside cliff, landed upside down on the rocks at the shore below and burst into flames, they said.
It is not known if speed, alcohol or drugs were involved.
The rental car firm said it could not release any information on who might have rented such an automobile in Honolulu.
Shortly before the accident, a passer-by saw the car parked alongside the makai side of the highway, facing the cliff. Ten minutes later, the same person saw the burning car on the rocks below the highway.
Malia Ke, a Wai'anae resident who was at the crash scene yesterday, said she and about two dozen relatives, "mostly kids," were camping and fishing at Yokohama Bay Saturday night.
"We saw the smoke and yellow flames and stopped on our way home," she said. "It was still burning when we got here."
Ke said the rugged area is a popular place, where people park to enjoy the view or jump into the sea from Hercules Rock.
"It's like the rock people jump off of at Waimea Bay on the North Shore," she said. "It's our jumping rock."
Charred debris from the car was still visible at the scene yesterday.
City paramedics pronounced the victim dead at the scene at 8:50 p.m., according to Bryan Cheplic, spokesman for the city's Emergency Services Department. Due to the extent of the burns, paramedics were not able to determine the age or gender of the victim, Cheplic said.
Honolulu fire Capt. Earle Kealoha said firefighters arrived to extinguish the car fire and found the charred remains of a body inside the wreckage.