High speeds, a loud noise and then a van plunges into the Ala Wai Canal.
The early morning drama left a man in serious condition and under arrest.
Police lights and street lights were the only way to see what was happening in the murky Ala Wai canal in the early morning hours.
Witnesses heard the first sign of trouble at about 4 a.m.
"We didn't hear any screeching or anything. We heard a big bank I think when he was coming over the curb and then we heard a splash," said Ryan Barrett, a Waikiki resident. "From our point of view it didn't sound like he slammed on the breaks."
People nearby saw the 29-year-old driver swim out of the Dodge Caravan on his own before it sank to the bottom of the canal.
Rescue divers dove into the water to make sure no one else was left inside.
Witnesses say the van was speeding at around 80 miles per hour down the Ala Wai when it hit this tree --and lost a tire before it launched into the canal.
The tow company tried several times to fish the van out.
Oil leaked out of the vehicle, so Department of Health workers enlisted a boom and sorbent material.
"With a vehicle, we don't know how much oil is in there," said Liz Galvez of the state DOH. "We are out here doing protective measures and trying to contain any oil that may come out of the vehicle."
Residents say they heard the driver claim he got in a fight with his girlfriend, leaving her at a bar before taking off.
The driver is under arrest on suspicion of auto theft, driving under the influence and without a license and is currently on probation for robbery, drug violations and resisting arrest.
He also has prior convictions of auto theft and driving without a license.