KULA, MAUI (HawaiiNewsNow) - A young man from Kula is Hawaii’s first traffic fatality of 2019.
Those who knew Mau Loa Pacheco affectionately called him “Kama.”
Pacheco graduated from King Kekaulike High School in 2017. He was a linebacker and one of the captains of the Na Alii football team and many say he was a stud wrestler.
His mother says he was full of aloha.
“He is the most respectful child anybody could have asked for,” said Ronda. “He was literally the most respectful human being I knew.”
Maui police say the crash was reported just after 6 a.m. New Year’s Day.
Investigators say Pacheco was driving south on Pulehu Road just south of Omaopio Road in Kula when he lost control of his 2004 Honda CRV while making a turn.
Ronda says her son was just 20 minutes away from home.
She hopes all young men and women will hear her message.
“This generation of Millennials feel that they’re untouchable,” she said.
“And they don’t realize the consequence is not theirs to bear. It is their parents who is going to be left behind, and burying their children, that’s not how God intended it. We are not supposed to be burying our precious child.”
Investigators say Pacheco’s vehicle crossed the center line and struck a dirt embankment causing it to flip and roll into a large metal utility pole.
Police say Pacheco was partially ejected from the vehicle and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Pacheco’s mother wants her tragedy to serve as a reminder about the importance of safe driving.
“Make good choices because one choice, just one wrong decision, can leave your parents devastated, and tear your mommy’s and daddy’s heart right out of their chest and it will never be the same,” she said. “He was truly an amazing son and I’ll never get that back again.”
Pacheco's autopsy is scheduled for Thursday.