The trial involving the hit and run crash that killed 19-year-old Kaulana Werner outside his Nanakuli home in April 2016 began Thursday.
“As a father I just pray nobody go through what I went through that night,” said Ed Werner as he choked back tears. Ed is Kaulana’s father and was the first witness to take the stand in the trial against Myisha Lee Armitage.
Armitage is charged with negligent homicide, accused of hitting and killing Kaulana Werner as he crossed Farrington Highway.
Ed Werner was one of the first people on the scene and was holding his son when he died.
Kaulana had graduated from Kamehameha and was home visiting from college. Ed explained that he had spoken to Kaulana less than 15 minutes before he was killed. Kaulana told him he was going to walk across the street to the beach. Moments later, Ed described hearing an odd noise.
“I heard this loud sound like a thump and then, it was really loud…Sounded like something hitting a rubbish can,” Ed said.
He said he went outside to find out what had happened. That’s when he saw his son.
“I’m sorry to ask this, but tell us the condition of your son,” said prosecuting attorney Duane Kokesch.
After a long pause, Werner looked at Kokesch and said, “It was bad. It was really bad…(Kaulana’s) legs was twisted and he was still alive”
Werner said the he tried to give his son CPR and he was talking to him, but he didn’t respond.
“He just looked at me and then he closed his. He close his eyes and he was gone,” Werer said as he broke down.
Police said Armitage was drunk when she hit Werner.
Kokesch said Armitage was speeding and hit Werner so hard he flew 198 feet from the area of impact.
“And then what did she do? She sped off. She didn’t stick around,” Kokesch said.
Kokesch claimed that Armitage tried to get away, that she only stopped because her BMW stalled more than three quarters of a mile down the road. The hood of her car and her windshield were severely damaged and her airbag deployed when she hit Werner.
Officer Desi Miner was the first officer on the scene. In his testimony, he said he was shocked at what he saw when he arrived.
“I had never seen anything like this in my life. (Kaulana’s) head was backwards…the dad grabbed him and held him,” said Miner as he tried to control his emotions on the stand.
During opening statements, Andrew Park, Armitage’s defense attorney, addressed the jury telling them that there were some things they would not hear during the trial.
“You’re not going to hear a single person who doesn’t wish like heck that this didn’t happen.”
Park also went on to describe holes in the police investigation leaving room for reasonable doubt.
“You’re not going to hear, also, about the kind of testimony or the kind of investigation from police officers that was required for a situation like this. You’re not going to hear that the investigating officers had the attention to detail that this kind of situation calls for.”
Corporal Branden Ota was also called to the stand as a witness for the prosecution. He was involved with the investigation.
Ota explained that his job was to take photos of Kaulana Werner, but that the only pictures he had of Werner’s body were taken after the medical examiner examined him in the morgue. Ota said he did not take any photos of Werner at the scene of the accident.
During cross examination Park asked Ota why he did not take photos of Werner at the scene. Ota explained that he wasn’t assigned to the case until the day after the accident.
The trial will resume on Tuesday.