HONOLULU (KHON2) — A 40-year-old visitor is dead following a bizarre crash Tuesday night on H1 freeway. According to police, the man was on an electric unicycle (EUC) at the time of the crash.
Police said the man was heading West near the airport off-ramp when he lost control and was thrown from the unicycle.
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He then was hit by a Honda CRV driven by a 56-year-old female.
The man was taken to the hospital in critical condition where he later died.
The female driver said she was about to take the airport exit when the car in front of her tried to avoid something on the road.
“The car in front of me swerved to the left. And then just right in front of me, I saw something it looked, I saw that it was red. And honestly, I thought it was a box or something,” she explained. “I took my foot off the gas and was going to brake, but I hit it before I could even brake.”
She then pulled over to check the damage on her car and to see what she hit.
“As I came up on it, I realized it was a body– it was a person. And that was the first time that I realized what had happened,” she said. “After the police officers got there, they said that I wasn’t the first person to hit it. I was probably the second or third, but that I was the only one that stopped.”
She said she is still in shock trying to process what happened.
HPD said speed, alcohol and drugs do not appear to be factors in the collision.
On Thursday, the medical examiner identified the unicyclist as Joel Dort, 40, from New York. Dort’s cause of death was multiple injuries due to impact from SUV and was ruled an accident.
According to Captain James Slayter from HPD traffic division, the man shouldn’t have been riding an EUC on the freeway.
“That is completely illegal,” he said. “Those are not safe for freeway use or any major thoroughfare. The sad part is they do travel very fast so some people feel like maybe that would get along fast enough up there, but it’s just, it’s very dangerous, you’re not protected.”
Slayter said they have noticed an uptick in unusual crashes this year and are urging everyone to adhere to the law and drive safely.
“Please just drive sober, slow down, and at the end of the day, don’t be distracted. Focus on the road.”
This is the 45th traffic fatality on Oahu so far this year compared to 52 this time last year.