Man struck by car after allegedly escaping Hawaii jail

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LIHUE, Hawaii (KHON) — Authorities in Hawaii say they are looking for a hit-and-run suspect after a man, who had allegedly just escaped from a nearby prison, was found on a roadway with serious injuries.

Kaua‘i Police said an inmate, identified as Matthew Ornellas, Jr., 33, was able to escape the Kaua‘i Community Correctional Center around 1 a.m. Friday morning.

Within about 10 minutes, correctional officers found Ornellas, who was injured, roughly 100 yards northeast of the facility on Kūhiō Highway.

Witnesses reported that it appeared that a vehicle, traveling southbound, had hit Ornellas and drove away. The vehicle, described as dark in color, was traveling toward Līhuʻe and was last seen making a U-turn toward Kapaʻa.

Ornellas was taken by ambulance to Wilcox Medical Center where he was in serious condition as of Friday.

According to Kaua‘i Police, an investigation into the alleged escape has been initiated and a report on the alleged hit-and-run was filed.

Anyone with information is asked to call Officer Henshaw at (808) 241-1616. Those who want to remain anonymous can call (808) 246-8300 or submit a tip on the Crime Stoppers Kauai website.

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