Hawaii held liable in car's 2005 fatal plunge

MAALAEA, Hawaii (AP) - A Maui judge has found the state liable for the deaths of 2 people in a car that plunged 150 feet from a scenic overlook in 2005.

Maui Circuit Court Judge Joseph Cardoza on Wednesday issued a 200-page decision finding the state "solely and wholly" liable for the deaths of James Makekau and Denise Callo. Hawaii must pay more than $3.2 million in damages.

A 3-month old girl survived the crash. Rescuers found her crying.

Callo was driving. A medical examiner found she had a blood-alcohol level of 0.27% and had been using marijuana.

The ruling says the state was aware that the old highway was being used as a scenic lookout and there were no barriers to prevent vehicles from going over the cliff.

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