3 pedestrians dead, 4 injured in Honolulu when truck driver plows through busy intersection

A witness said the fatal crash "sounded like a dumpster being dropped off a tall building."
Image: Fatal car accident Honolulu
Scene of a multiple vehicle accident involving two trucks and a bicyclist in Honolulu on Jan. 28, 2019.Cindy Ellen Russell / Honolulu Star-Advertiser via AP

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By Elisha Fieldstadt

A suspected drunk driver plowed through pedestrians in a busy Honolulu intersection Monday night, killing three people and injuring four others, police said.

The driver, identified as a 27-year-old man, was also hospitalized in serious condition, said Honolulu police Lt. James Slayter.

Police first got a call at 6:10 p.m. HST (11:30 p.m. ET) that a collision had occurred elsewhere on the island, and then got reports that a truck was speeding and swerving in and out of traffic, Slayter said.

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When the same truck approached Kamakee Street, an eatery and bar-lined stretch situated in a downtown area near the water, the driver tried to make a hard right from the far left lane. Instead, he lost control, cut across a walkway divider and slammed into pedestrians, a utility pole and another truck.

Witness Jonathan Boulware told NBC affiliate KHNL that the crash “sounded like a dumpster being dropped off a tall building."

“It was a bad scene. Very very bad scene," he added. “There’s a million people here."

A 46-year-old woman, a 26-year-old man and a man in his 40s were pronounced dead on the scene.

Two other women are hospitalized in critical condition, and a man was hospitalized in good condition. The driver of the truck that was hit was hospitalized in serious condition.

Slayter said investigators believe that "speed and alcohol" were factors in the crash. He said although police had been alerted that the suspect was driving erratically before the fatal crash, he doesn't believe officers were chasing the truck.

The suspect hasn't been arrested as officials focus on his treatment and continue to investigate, said Slayer.