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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Tuesday, June 29, 2004

SUV takes plunge in Hawai'i Kai

Pat Campanella, left, and Affordable Towing and Recovery owner Devin Statts discuss how to get Campanella's SUV out of Katherine Peacock's pool in Hawai'i Kai. Campanella was giving his wife a driving lesson when she overcompensated and drove into the pool.

Richard Ambo • The Honolulu Advertiser

By Suzanne Roig
Advertiser East Honolulu Writer

HAWAI'I KAI — Katherine Peacock saw it, but she didn't believe it.

A sport utility vehicle had just crashed through her fence, rolled across her patio deck and into her backyard swimming pool.

She watched, stunned, as the vehicle began to sink.

"I thought I was dreaming," said Peacock, 80. "I was so shaken up."

Meanwhile, Pat and Mimi Campanella sat inside the 2001 silver Toyota Highlander as it filled with water.

"As we landed in the pool, I remembered a movie and I waited for the water to fill the car and then I opened the door," said Pat Campanella, 56. Letting water in equalizes the pressure and allows the door to open.

Pat Campanella, left, and Mark Peacock shared a laugh after Campanella's SUV was removed from Peacock's mother's pool.

Richard Ambo • The Honolulu Advertiser

He pushed his wife out and got them to the side of the pool.

Despite the scare, no one was injured in the Saturday incident, and the car remained there — a neighborhood curiosity — until yesterday, when it was pulled from the bottom by a tow truck equipped with a crane.

The accident occurred at about 1 p.m. as Mimi Campanella received a driving lesson from her husband.

Mimi Campanella, who has a learner's permit and is enrolled in driver's education, was crossing the intersection at Kamilo Street and Niumalu Loop and overcompensated for an oncoming car, her husband said.

Mark Peacock, Katherine's son, heard the crash from his house three doors down and rushed over to find the SUV in the pool.

The Peacocks hired a company Saturday to remove the vehicle, but its equipment wasn't strong enough to hoist the vehicle out without first draining the pool. Yesterday, Affordable Towing had no such problem. The cost of the operation was estimated to be between $2,500 and $5,000.

Mimi Campanella was shaken by Saturday's incident, and doctors advised her to get back on the road soon, her husband said.

But that's probably going to take some convincing, he said.

Reach Suzanne Roig at 395-8831, or sroig@honoluluadvertiser.com.