Families of Crash Victims Urge Driver Safety - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Families of Crash Victims Urge Driver Safety

By Minna Sugimoto

MILILANI (KHNL) -- Historically, Memorial Day is the start of the 101 deadliest days on our nation's roadways. That's according to Honolulu police, who plan to set up DUI road blocks beginning this weekend.

A speeding car smashes into a tree, killing all five young people inside. Relatives of the driver, 22-year-old Shannon Waiwaiole, are never the same.

"This accident happened over five years ago. It happened back in 2003 in March," Robert Prasser, Waiwaiole's uncle, said. "And we still remember it like yesterday."

It's a grisly scene that haunts then-14-year-old Lanakila Vierra, who writes about it.

"He did state in that writing that, you know, anything can happen to anybody and he feared the worst," Gwen Vierra, Vierra's mother, said. "So with that, when we read that, you know, we understood that he was thinking about all these things."

Three years later, 12 days shy of his 18th birthday, Lanakila Vierra was dead.

He and his friend, Shane Bachiller, were killed after another teen lost control of the car they were riding in on treacherous Kaukonahua Road.

"There isn't a day that go by where we don't miss him," Gwen Vierra said.

While alcohol is not suspected in the crash that killed Vierra, his mother joins Waiwaiole's family in urging people to not drink and drive.

"While you might get away with it here and there, sooner or later, something tragic like this might happen," Prasser said. "And it literally takes the life out of your families for the rest of their lives."

Police say their DUI road blocks will continue through the summer.

Sixteen people have died on Oahu's roadways so far this year.

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