Racing suspected in fatal collision near Makua Cave
By Rod Ohira
Advertiser Staff Writer
A 25-year-old Wai'anae man was killed and three others were injured in a two-car collision on Farrington Highway near Makua Cave early yesterday that may have involved racing.
In another fatal accident, two people were killed Wednesday night on the Big Island in an accident involving four vehicles in Puna near the Kamehameha Schools campus. Heavy rainfall appears to be a contributing factor, police said.
The man killed on O'ahu was pronounced dead at the scene of the 1:48 a.m. Farrington Highway collision, which involved a 1992 Honda Civic and 1989 Jeep Cherokee.
The man, who was driving the Honda, was killed even though the car's airbag deployed.
A Wai'anae girl, 16, who was a front-seat passenger in the Honda, and the 20-year-old female driver of the Cherokee were taken by helicopter to The Queen's Medical Center. Both were in serious condition. A man, 20, who was a passenger in the Cherokee, was taken to St. Francis Medical Center-West in good condition.
Vehicular homicide investigator Sgt. William Baldwin said a witness told police the Honda, which was headed toward Yokohama Bay, may have been racing with another vehicle. The Honda was on the wrong side of the road when the driver tried to avoid being struck by the oncoming Cherokee.
The Cherokee, however, hit the Honda on the front left side of the car, forcing it to the shoulder of the road.
Wai'anae Neighborhood Board chairman Glen Kila said speeding and racing are problems on that stretch of Farrington Highway. He said the two-lane highway is a straightaway for about two miles and is "very, very dangerous."
Kila said Makaha and Makua residents recently expressed their concerns at a board meeting because of the dangers they face while turning off the highway to the beach or their homes. Drivers are often speeding behind them and overtaking the slower cars.
Kila said the area needs to be monitored more frequently by police, warning signs installed and solid lines painted on the road as a deterrence to passing. But he also said that drivers need to be reminded of the dangers of speeding.
"I know that people do care. It's just that the stretches are long and people lose sight of how fast they're going," Kila said.
Yesterday's death raises O'ahu's traffic fatality count for the year to 52. It was 41 at this date last year.
In the Puna crash, police say a 1999 Mazda pickup traveling north crossed the center lane at 6:24 p.m. and collided with a 1993 Subaru headed in the opposite direction. The Mazda continued on and collided with a 1994 Nissan sedan. Debris from the bed of the Mazda pickup caused damage to a Toyota pickup.
Conchita Tenorio, 36, and Loreto Tenorio Jr., 33, of Kurtistown, who were in the Subaru, were pronounced dead at the scene. A man, 24, who was a backseat passenger in the Subaru, was taken to Hilo Medical Center in serious condition.
The driver of the Mazda pickup, a 51-year-old woman, was also taken to Hilo Medical Center in serious condition.
Staff writer Curtis Lum contributed to this report.
Reach Rod Ohira at 535-8181 or firstname.lastname@example.org.