Two men appear in court for deadly hit-and-run case

By Jill Kuramoto
Published On: Jun 08 2012 05:30:47 PM HST
Updated On: Jun 11 2012 06:36:49 AM HST

The two men arrested in connection with a fatal hit and run made their first appearance in court. They're accused of killing Matthew Fragas as he was walking along Kahekili Highway early Saturday morning.

HONOLULU -

Two men arrested in connection with a deadly hit-and-run case made their first court appearance in Honolulu Friday.

30-year-old Matthew Fragas was hit by a vehicle as he was walking along Kahekili Highway early Saturday morning.

Investigators, at the time, said they had very little evidence to work with.  Details have been now made public about how they cracked the case.

According to court documents, 31-year-old Mark Salangdron was behind the wheel of the pickup truck that struck and killed Fragas.

25-year-old Elijah Kawai-Aweau was allegedly the passenger in the truck.

The two men had been drinking at a home in Kaneohe near Coral Kingdom, according to court documents.

Witnesses say "both had a hard time walking and slurred speech" when they left the party at around 2 a.m.

Two eyewitnesses who were in a car behind the truck said they saw a man on the side of Kahekili Highway jump into the path of the truck, saw the body spin, then get hit by the truck's tires and continue on without slowing down.

The medical examiner determined Fragas died of head injuries.

The eyewitnesses were apparently acquaintances with Salangdron and Kawai-Aweau.  Once they caught up with the two men further up the highway, they were threatened by the two men to not go back to the scene and not to go to the police "or else."

According to court documents, the witnesses received several threatening phone calls from Salangdron and Kawai-Aweau for two days after the fatal crash.

An anonymous tip led police to the witnesses, who police were able to convince to come forward with the information that led to the arrests on June 5.

Salangdron has been charged with failure to render aid and extortion.  His bail is set at $250,000.

Kawai-Aweau has been charged with hindering prosecution and is being held in lieu of $150,000 bail.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for June 13.

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