Wahiawa man killed in early morning three-car crash

Paco Toomalatai
Paco Toomalatai

By Ben Gutierrez - bio | email

WAIPIO (HawaiiNewsNow) - Friends and co-workers are remembering a Wahiawa man who was killed in an early morning crash that involved three vehicles on the H-2 Freeway. Honolulu police said one of the cars was traveling in the wrong direction.

The fatal crash happened at 2:20 a.m. Saturday, about a half-mile before the Ka Uka Boulevard off ramp. According to investigators, a 1992 BMW was traveling south in the north-bound lanes when it collided with a 2005 Toyota Tacoma pickup truck. The Tacoma then overturned and was hit by a third vehicle, a Jeep Liberty that was following the Tacoma.

Police said the driver of the Tacoma died at the scene. Friends and family identified him as Lance Miyashiro, 40, of Wahiawa. He was a manager at Mililani Pets. Miyashiro was heading home from his other job at the Mai Tai Bar at Ala Moana Center, where he worked as a security guard for nine years.

"Everybody liked him around here," said fellow security staff member Paco Toomalatai. "He was one of us. He never missed work."

"He was so nice," said Jessica Newalu, who has worked at the Mai Tai Bar for three years. She also said that he would bring gifts for everyone during the holidays. "You wouldn't even expect it. Even not holidays. He comes in with treats, and little things that he would make and he would tell everybody to just help themselves."

"He always bring us malasadas, bentos," Toomalatai said.

Dozens of others sent their messages of condolence and disbelief on Miyashiro's Facebook page.

The driver of the BMW was identified as a 21 year-old man from Waianae; he was taken in critical condition to the Queen's Medical Center. The driver of the Jeep, a 58 year-old Mililani man, was taken in serious condition to Queen's with unknown injuries.

Investigators said all three were wearing seat belts. Its unknown whether speed, drugs or alcohol were involved.

Saturday's crash comes just four months after another deadly wrong-way collision on the H-2. In that one, police said 58 year-old Timothy Leyes are driving northbound in the southbound lanes when his vehicle slammed head-on into an SUV. A third car hit the concrete median while trying to avoid the original crash. Leyes died of chest injuries.

Miyashiro's death is the 47th traffic fatality on Oahu, compared to 53 fatalities a year ago.

Work will continue tonight at the Mai Tai Bar, minus one friend.

"He'll be missed by all of us employees here, especially by the security staff," said Toomalatai.

"He's loved by everyone," said Newalu.

"It's just not fair."

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