Two killed in O'ahu crashes
By Mike Leidemann
Advertiser Staff Writer
By Mike Leidemann
Rain may have been a common factor in two separate accidents over the weekend that left two people dead and four others hospitalized, police said yesterday.
The accidents occurred about 8 hours apart at times when roads were slickened by rain showers, according to police reports.
The first accident killed a 38-year-old Nanakuli architect and left two members of his family hospitalized in serious condition Friday night after a city-owned cherry-picker type of vehicle, with a boom and basket, swerved out of control and struck a pickup truck in Nanakuli. The accident occurred at 8:30 p.m.
Then, about 5:15 a.m. yesterday a car in the freeway's Wai'anae-bound lanes near the Makakilo off-ramp went out of control, hit a utility pole and overturned, killing one of the three people in the car.
Two people were thrown from the car in the early morning accident and a third person was pinned inside. A 25-year-old Waimanalo man died in the accident and the two others were hospitalized, police said.
The city Medical Examiner's Office yesterday identified the dead man in the first accident as Daniel K. Kekahuna Jr. of Nanakuli.
Family and friends yesterday remembered Kekahuna, who worked as a draftsman at the Honolulu firm Architects Hawai'i, as an outgoing man who made friends everywhere he went.
"He was a big man with an even bigger heart," said Samson Kaha, Kekahuna's brother-in-law. "His first love was his ohana and all his nieces and nephews."
Bettina Mehnert, a partner at Architects Hawai'i, said Kekahuna was a talented, dedicated worker liked by all.
"He was very talented and very dedicated. He had a great sense of humor and truly was everybody's friend," Mehnert said. "He would organize Hawaiian lunches and then invite everybody to join them."
Kaha said Kekahuna was returning home from a dinner with family members on Friday night when the accident occurred in rainy conditions. The other people in Kekahuna's truck were identified as his sister, Danalyn Duseigneur, and his 9-year-old nephew, Winston Kekahuna. Both remained hospitalized last night.
Meanwhile, police said the wet roads could also have been a factor in yesterday's early morning accident that left the west-bound lanes of the freeway shut for several hours.
Police said one of the people in the car that flipped over died at the scene. Two other people in the vehicle, a 26-year-old Wai'anae man and a 21-year-old Waikele man, were seriously injured. It was not clear who was driving the 2001 blue Volkswagen Jetta at the time of the crash, but none of the men was wearing a seat belt, police said.
Reach Mike Leidemann at firstname.lastname@example.org.