Two killed, two injured in crash involving stolen car, unlicensed driver

Romona & Henry Otani
Romona & Henry Otani
John Farias
John Farias
Teavaiki Leao
Teavaiki Leao
Family of Teavaiki Leao
Family of Teavaiki Leao

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

WAIALUA (HawaiiNewsNow) - The 16-year-old driver involved in a deadly crash on Kaukonahua Road in Waialua Sunday did not have a driver's license or a permit, family members said.

The driver, Teavaiki Leao of Nanakuli, and one of his passengers, John Farias of Waianae, were killed.

Henry and Romona Otani are still searching for answers, after receiving the dreaded phone call from the Honolulu Medical Examiner's office.

"Saying that if I knew who John was and stuff," Henry Otani, crash victim's father, recalled. "So I said, 'Yeah, that's my son.'"

The Otanis' son, John Farias, 23, was a passenger in a speeding car that went out of control and slammed into two utility poles along Kaukonahua Road at about 12:50 AM. Farias and his driver were pinned in the vehicle, and died at the scene.

"It's just hard," Romona Otani, crash victim's mother, said. "One minute, he's there. Next day, he's gone."

The driver was identified by his family as Teavaiki Leao. At 16 years old, he was already a father to a one-year-old boy, and was in a program for youthful offenders.

"We knew that somewhere inside, he's willing to change," Nelson Leao, driver's brother, said. "It did take some time, but slowly but surely, we could see that he was changing for the good."

Two other passengers survived the crash. Police say the car was stolen.

"Our condolences to the family that also had lost their son, nephew, brother, you know, grandchild," Janet Siuta, driver's aunt, said. "Our condolences go out to them."

Farias was a father to two boys, ages five and three.

"He left back two kids," Romona Otani said. "Now my grandkids have to grow up without a dad."

The Otanis say Farias was a New Year's baby. He would have turned 24 this New Year's Day.

"I think plenty people is going to learn from this, especially the teenagers from drinking and driving," Henry Otani said. "There's a lot of deaths. We always see that always happening, but never to your own family, yeah."

"I think it's time for everybody to wake up," Nelson Leao said. "The kind of people that Vaiki hung around with, too, I hope that they learn that you just can't be doing this kind of stuff nowadays."

Investigators say it's not yet known if alcohol or drugs played a role in Sunday's crash.

These were the 56th and 57th traffic fatalities on Oahu this year. With more than a month left in 2010, Oahu has already surpassed the 2009 traffic death toll of 55.

Copyright 2010 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.