KAILUA-KONA, HAWAII (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Hawaii County Prosecuting Attorney's office said it will not filed a negligent injury charge against Shakti Stream in connection in a 2010 head-on crash in Kona.
The Kailua-Kona woman is the ex-girlfriend of former University of Hawaii quarterback Colt Brennan, who was a passenger in the Toyota 4Runner that crossed over the center line of Queen Kaahumanu Highway and collided with a Saab driven by Dr. Theresa Wang.
"The burden of proof is much more in a criminal case than in a civil case, and they just didn't have enough evidence in their investigation to charge the other driver with negligent injury," said Wang's husband, David Chen, who expressed disappointment at the decision.
In a written statement, Wang's attorney Ian Mattoch said, "I am disappointed with this decision. We believe the facts more than justify prosecution. We cooperated extensively with the prosecutor's office, providing them with relevant information. Theresa, her husband David Chen and our office are perplexed with this decision."
If charges had been brought against Stream, she would have faced a maximum of five years in prison. Chen said the family would have asked for less.
"We would have only asked for community service because we didn't really feel that any kind of jail time would benefit the other person at all," said Chen.
Brennan was hospitalized with a broken collarbone and ribs. Wang suffered a serious neck injury and was in a coma. She also underwent months of rehabilitation on the mainland.
While she hasn't fully recovered, she continues to show improvement.
"She's now walking, mostly without a cane, and the best part is she walks and she talks and she's still Theresa," said Chen.
"It's kind of karma or a blessing for the other driver, and we hope that she takes it in the right way and takes it as a gift to improve her life," Chen added.
While the prosecutor has declined to press charges, Mattoch has filed a civil lawsuit against Stream on Wang's behalf.