Driver in deadly Likelike crash was church member, outdoorsman

James Krzywonski
James Krzywonski
Keone Cardenas
Keone Cardenas
Mike Stangel
Mike Stangel

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Three young adults are dead following a high-speed car crash on Likelike Highway on Oahu early Thursday morning.

Family and friends identify the driver of the car as James Krzywonski, 30, of Waialua. They say he loved the outdoors, and especially enjoyed surfing and boating.

Debris sprayed across Likelike Highway. Twisted metal inside the Wilson Tunnel. An impact so devastating, it crushes a car carrying three people like a soda can.

James Krzywonski -- a beloved son, brother and church member -- was behind the wheel.

"This is so sudden," Mike Stangel, North Shore Christian Fellowship, said. "You're used to seeing this guy every day. He's family. He's fun. All of the sudden, it's over."

Police say Krzywonski lost control of his speeding Audi on a turn. The car struck a concrete barrier, went airborne, and slammed into the right side of the entrance to the tunnel.

"He was a born-again Christian. It's just a shame how things happened," Stangel said. "We know where he is. It's just not a good way to get there."

The crash also killed the front-seat passenger, Keone Cardenas. The 25-year-old was Krzywonski's co-worker at Haleiwa Joe's restaurant in Kaneohe.

A 22-year-old woman in the back seat also died.

Pastor Mike Stangel visits Krzywonski's Waialua home to help his sister and her husband through their grief.

"They're shocked. They're kind of numb and a lot of tears," Stangel said. "And they feel badly not only for them, but for the other two families involved."

Investigators say it's not yet known if alcohol was a factor in the crash.