Traffic investigators have determined that alcohol was involved in Saturday's crash on Isa Drive on Capital Hill that killed three brothers. The case remains under further investigation to determine if speed was also a factor.
Police officer Jason Tarkong said yesterday that the weather was clear and the road surface was dry at the time of the accident.
“However, the contour of the road was on a downhill curve. Due to the seriousness of the injuries, the Department of Public Safety's Traffic Investigation Unit was activated to further investigate the accident,” he said.
Tarkong did not release the names of the victims, but specified in a press statement their ages as well as descriptions of injuries.
He said the truck's driver was 30 years old and a resident of Kagman, who sustained trauma to the head, skull fracture, and multiple lacerations in the upper body. He said the center passenger was a 37-year-old male from Garapan who sustained massive internal injuries. The passenger on the right was 36 years old from As Matuis and had a broken neck.
Independent sources identified the driver as David Nekaifes, while the center passenger was Antonio “Xcalibur” Nekaifes, and the passenger on the right was Elias Nekaifes.
Sources said that David was a nurse, while Elias was an air-con technician. Antonio used to be a heavyweight mixed martial arts fighter. The victims are brothers of Gov. Benigno R. Fitial's close-in security/driver police captain Jermaine Wabol Nekaifes.
Tarkong said that DPS Central dispatched Traffic Units to Isa Drive south of Capitol Hill Market after receiving a call on Saturday at 11:12am about an auto accident involving serious injuries.
Tarkong said the accident occurred on the northbound shoulder of Isa Drive on Capitol Hill by the PSCT barracks, located south of the residence of Jose Bermudes.
The light blue 2003 Mazda B2300 pickup truck had moderate damage all over the body.
Preliminary police investigation showed that the three Nekaifes brothers were found trapped inside the pickup truck and were unresponsive. The truck had apparently overturned and then came to rest on its driver side.
DPS rescue and medic personnel extracted the three occupants from the truck using the “Jaws of Life,” a huge tool used to extricate people from mangled cars.
The three brothers were rushed to the Commonwealth Health Center's emergency room where Dr. Gregory Kotheimer pronounced them dead on arrival.
Saipan Tribune learned that the truck was going to Kagman when it lost control, swerved to the opposite lane, careened into a mound of soil, and then slammed into a makeshift garage.
District court security officer Donny Fejeran said he was shocked and saddened after a member of the victims' family called to tell him about the incident Saturday night.
Fejeran said Elias and Antonio were his good friends as they grew together and went to same schools. Fejeran and Elias were classmates in 7th grade at Oleai Elementary School. The two were classmates again in some subjects at Hopwood Junior High School and Marianas High School.
Fejeran and Antonio would also see each other in schools during elementary and high school.
“I made them involved in physical sports,” said Fejeran, referring to football and MMA.
Elias and Antonio used to play as lineman in the Commonwealth Football League that shut down in 2005.
Fejeran said he encouraged Elias to also join MMA like Antonio because he was strong, but he declined.
“Elias was a very quiet guy, while Ton was more outgoing,” Fejeran said. “I was very sad because Elias and Ton were my good friends.”