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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, February 26, 2006

Crash victim 'had tons of friends'

By Will Hoover
Advertiser Staff Writer


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Friends and family of Cheyne Gilman-D'Adamo enshrined the site where he crashed shortly after midnight yesterday, a home on Oneawa Street in Kailua, just three blocks from the street where he lived.

REBECCA BREYER | The Honolulu Advertiser

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Between sobs, Eveleen Tasaki of Kailua was able to choke out an appropriate epitaph for her nephew, Cheyne Gilman-D'Adamo, 22, who was killed yesterday morning when his car smashed into a stone wall at 432 Oneawa Street.

"He was a happy-go-lucky and loving and caring person," she said, as a number of Gilman-D'Adamo's friends stood in stunned silence near the crumbling point of impact. The wall had been decorated with a dozen balloons, bouquets of flowers and personal notes.

Friends, neighbors and relatives all agreed that friendship meant more to the young construction worker than probably anything else.

"He surfed, he dived, lifted weights he was just a local boy," said Gilman-D'Adamo's cousin Chelsea Taito, 21, who lives with the family on Kalama Street.

"But mostly he had tons of friends at the house. He was the ringleader, and these boys have lost their leader. He loved his friends, and they loved him so much. They would come over and wait for him to get home. They're brokenhearted."

Taito and others said it was surprising that Gilman-D'Adamo was alone in the car when the accident occurred.

"He's always with someone," said Gilman-D'Adamo's older sister, Brandie Vierra, 27. "It was very unusual for him to be alone."

According to police investigators, Gilman-D'Adamo was traveling north on Oneawa Street in his white 1992 Honda Accord when he swerved to miss a vehicle that had pulled into his path from Ulupaina, disregarding the stop sign.

The Honda went out of control and plowed into the wall at a high speed. Investigators have no description of the second vehicle, which fled, and are asking anyone with information to contact the Honolulu Police Department.

Gilman-D'Adamo, a 2002 Kalaheo High School graduate, was three blocks from the street he lived on when he hit the wall at 12:01 a.m. He'd only had the Honda two weeks, relatives said.

Authorities are uncertain if alcohol was a factor in the fatality, but they are certain speed was.

Neal Kau, 53, who went to school with Gilman-D'Adamo's dad, Joseph Gilman, and whose home is adjacent to the wall the Honda hit, had no doubt the car was going fast.

"I was out here right after it happened," he said. "It was real bad. The front and back tires were almost touching each other on the driver's side."

Anoi Pua Nani Moore, 23, was also at Kau's home when the accident happened. He was one of the first people on the scene.

Moore, who helped pull Gilman-D'Adamo from the car, said gas was leaking from the vehicle and it was impossible to get the driver's door open.

"We heard the screeching and the crash sounds, and I ran out here and someone was already trying to help him out. We pulled him through the window. My friend supported his neck and I supported his legs to keep his spine straight.

Moore said it all happened so fast his mind was a blur.

"We laid him on the ground. He wasn't breathing. He had a pulse. My friend did resuscitation. He started breathing and they turned him on his side. I was over here putting dirt under the car so it wouldn't ignite."

Moore said when Emergency Medical Services arrived a short time later, they took over. Gilman-D'Adamo was taken to The Queen's Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead on arrival, according to authorities.

"He was a good kid, just turned 22 in January," said Maryellen McClellan, a cousin of Cindy Gilman-D'Adamo, the victim's mother.

Gilman-D'Adamo's younger brother, Sheldon, 19, did not come to the wall with the other members of the family.

"Sheldon is going to be lost without his older brother," said Taito, fighting back tears. "They did everything together."

After a pause, she added another thought:

"What people who loved Cheyne might do is be careful, pay attention and drive slow. Because this hurts the whole family and all his friends very much."

Reach Will Hoover at whoover@honoluluadvertiser.com.