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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, February 10, 2006

Drugs, alcohol ruled out in crash

By Peter Boylan
Advertiser Staff Writer

A teenage driver and her friend who were killed Sunday when their car crashed into a utility poll after speeding through a dip in the road did not have alcohol or drugs in their system at the time of the accident.

Neither 19-year-old Jocelyn Plunkett-Ka'aihue, who was at the wheel Sunday morning, nor 15-year-old Waipahu High School sophomore Cresile Sabado, who was sitting in the front seat, had been drinking before they died, according to the city's Medical Examiner's office.

A 16-year-old boy who was in the back seat of the rented car remains in critical condition at The Queen's Medical Center.

Plunkett-Ka'aihue's mother, 36-year-old Tanya Makinney, said the news did not surprise her because she knew her daughter never dabbled in either drugs or alcohol. She said it has been horrific to live with the loss of her daughter, who was working toward attending art school in New York City by saving money earned from a retail sales job in Waikele.

"She was a very big-hearted, sweet girl. She and Cresile shared that personality. They were very big-hearted, sweet people," Makinney said yesterday. "There wasn't a sour bone in her body. Anyone that knew her couldn't help but love her."

Makinney remembers her daughter coming home from work at 10 p.m. Saturday and sitting in the kitchen. She said they spoke for the last time and her daughter seemed "bubbly."

Plunkett-Ka'aihue was an artist at Kahuku High School, her mother said, who took joy in planning the prom and entertaining people.

"She was just full of life and just extra happy that day," she said.

The accident occurred just before 6 a.m. on Pa'akea Road near 'Apana Road. Police said the car was speeding and went airborne after it came over a rise in the road. Plunkett-Ka'aihue lost control and crashed into a curb. The car flipped on its left side, slid into a street sign post, a fence and a utility pole, shearing it in half.

Both Plunkett-Ka'aihue and Sabado, who was in the front seat, were crushed when the utility pole fell on the car.

The boy in the back seat was partially ejected, police said. He suffered a large gash to his chest and internal injuries. When emergency medical personnel arrived, he was conscious and able to give his name and age, police said. He lost consciousness soon after and was taken to The Queen's Medical Center in critical condition.

The rental car was a white 2004 Nissan Maxima from Enterprise Rent-A-Car on Sand Island, police said. Plunkett-Ka'aihue's own car was in the shop for repairs.

Pa'akea Road is an expansive, relatively straight road with several dips.

Makinney said she drove the stretch of road in broad daylight and didn't see the dips until she was upon them.

"There is no signage, no rumble strip, no speed bump, nothing," she said.

"What is it going to take for the city or the private owners of that road to make a change so these kids don't die in vain?"

Reach Peter Boylan at pboylan@honoluluadvertiser.com.