Thousands say goodbye to ex-Kahuku star

Thousands say goodbye to ex-Kahuku star

By Duane Shimogawa bio | email

HAUULA (HawaiiNewsNow) - Thousands show up to say goodbye to ex-Kahuku star quarterback Waika Carvalho.

The 23-year-old died a week ago in a truck crash in Hauula, just hours after going to his former coaches funeral.

Cars lined Kamehameha Highway in both directions near the Hauula Latter Day Saints Church.

So many people showed up that the service started about an hour later.

Football and family were the themes there. Waika loved both and you could definitely sense that.

Three words that make me proud. "That's my Waiks." It's what's printed on the 23-year-old's memorial program flyer.

"To make sense of this whole thing means so much to the family and talking to my brother, he and my sister-in-law are just so overwhelmed by the support," Waika's uncle and Kauai mayor Bernard Carvalho told Hawaii News Now.

That support was strongly evident on Saturday. A couple thousand came to pay their respects to a young man who was passionate about two things: Football, and most of all, his family.

"It is amazing how many people are here today and it makes me feel good inside that my brother's ohana here has touched so many lives," Carvalho said.

And those lives he touched were brought together as one family. It's actually what Waika wanted.

Carvalho says Waika told his parents he wanted both sides of his family, the Adlphos and the Carvalhos to come together one day, family reunion-style.

Ironically, this happened on Saturday, but without him there.

His family though felt his compassion for them. They say during his high school graduation when every student was asked to come up with a word that's most important to them, he held up a sign that said, "Family."

"Waika will be remembered as a family member who truly loved his ohana," Carvalho said.

Words even he would be proud of. Waika was buried Saturday afternoon at the Hauula Cemetery. He was a front seat passenger when the crash happened. Police are still investigating this accident as a negligent homicide case.