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Man briefly hospitalized following 1-car wreck

Posted: March 27, 2012 - 11:44am  |  Updated: March 27, 2012 - 11:01pm

Juneau police say a man was thrown from his vehicle after crashing into a guardrail on Egan Drive Monday morning, but appears to be OK since he was released from the hospital the same day.

Lt. David Campbell said in an interview three witnesses reportedly saw the wreck, which occurred at about 7:15 a.m. near Walmart. They reported the Jeep Wrangler was going fast, swerving within his lane in traffic, then lost control and hit a guardrail, according to Campbell.

A Juneau Police Department release stated one witness saw the driver thrown from the vehicle.

JPD and EMTs responded to the crash. Medics treated the man on scene then took him to the hospital, where he was later released, according to the release.

Campbell said he didn’t know the extent of the driver’s injuries. Bartlett Regional Hospital spokesman Jim Strader confirmed the driver was discharged from the emergency room at noon after being admitted around 7:48 a.m.

Campbell identified the man, who was the sole occupant of the vehicle at the time of the crash, as 32-year-old Kawika Keliihoomalu. No other vehicles were involved in the crash and no other injuries were reported.

The cause of the crash is being investigated, but obviously driver error was a factor, Campbell said. Keliihoomalu told police he had fallen asleep at the wheel, Campbell said.

Campbell said it didn’t appear as though alcohol was involved, though he said the responding police officer obtained a search warrant to take a blood sample to be evaluated for possible drug or alcohol usage at the crime lab. No citations were issued, Campbell said.

There was no listing for Keliihoomalu in the phone book, and he could not be reached for comment.

• Contact reporter Emily Russo Miller at 523-2263 or at emily.miller@juneauempire.com.

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