Hauula man dies in late night car crash - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hauula man dies in late night car crash

Kamehameha Highway in Laie Kamehameha Highway in Laie
Waika Carvalho, on left Waika Carvalho, on left
Christine Luft Christine Luft
Brian Teo Brian Teo
Coach Reggie Torres Coach Reggie Torres

By Duane Shimogawa - bio | email

LAIE (HawaiiNewsNow) - A North Shore of Oahu man is dead and four others are in serious to critical condition, after their Toyota pick-up spun out of control and crashed into a guardrail in Laie.

It happened just after 11 p.m., Saturday on Kamehameha Highway just north of Naniloa Loop near Hukilau Beach.

Police have opened up a negligent homicide investigation on the driver, 19-year-old Ekolu Miller. This after 23-year-old Waika Carvalho died in that crash. Passengers Chevis Santiago, Kimo Aalona, and Kawika Hee all remain in the hospital.

A bent license plate, a banged up bumper and a twisted guard rail are all that remains at the crash sight on Sunday in Laie.

"It was really hard to see them and not be able to do anything, you can't, I didn't know them personally, so I couldn't comfort them," Witness Christine Luft said.

Luft was one of the witnesses of this crash that happened late Saturday night.

Authorities say five young men were in a Toyota Tacoma pick-up, heading south on a stretch of Kamehameha Highway.

Police say the driver lost control and crossed the into the northbound lane. That's when he hit a guardrail at the corner of Kahawainui Bridge.

Four were rushed to the hospital, but one of them died, Waika Carvalho, a Kahuku High star quarterback, who graduated in 2004.

"Waika just loved life," Family friend Brian Teo said. "He was a great kid, I knew him when he was 9, he always seemed to like to make people laugh. I think his parents liked to think of him as the social bug of the community because he'd walk into a room with strangers and in less than five minutes, he'd come out with a friend."

Kahuku High Football head coach Reggie Torres says he just saw Waika's family Saturday night at the UH football game. Waika's two uncles play for New Mexico State.

"Its tough on the family and we wish them well," Torres said. "It's a major loss for the school, community, family."

Football was Waika's life. He started playing at nine, but he was an offensive lineman at that age. That quickly changed.

"He goes running out and he chucks it to me, throw it again, he threw it to me again, ok we're changing your number, you're the quarterback now," Teo said.

He would go on to take his Pop Warner football team to the national championships and lead Kahuku to a state title in 2003.

Waika would eventually move on to Dixie College in Utah.

"It was painful to watch the family go through this," Teo said. "I can only think of the positives that Waika has done in his life and that's what I think he'll always be remembered by."

We caught up with his uncle, Kauai mayor Bernard Carvalho by phone as he boarded the plane, after meeting with family in Laie.

"Very, very hard at this time, unfortunate that this happened, we're one ohana, one family, our prayers are together, it's all about supporting each other at this time," Carvalho said.

Police say speed and alcohol appear to be factors in this crash. There are now 48 traffic fatalities on Oahu so far this year. That's compared to 41 for all of last year.

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