Pali Highway crash leaves 2 dead and teenager fighting for her life

Pali Highway Car Crash
Pali Highway Car Crash

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Two people are dead and a 14-year-old girl is fighting for her life after a deadly crash on the Pali Highway.

It happened just after midnight about a mile past the Waokanaka Street intersection in the Kailua-bound direction.

Police say the young girl remains in critical condition at Queen’s Medical Center.

But emergency responders said she was conscious when they went to pull her out of the truck and say its a miracle she even survived.

These muddy tracks heading up this median embankment are all that is left that tell the story of a deadly crash that happened just after midnight on Sunday.

“When officers got there they saw a pickup truck on its passenger side and its roof was crushed by the tree that it had hit,” said Lt. Bobby Towne, with the Honolulu Police Department’s Traffic Division.

Emergency responders pulled a 14-year-old girl out of the front passenger seat and rushed her to the trauma center.

“The driver of the vehicle an adult male in his 30s was pronounced dead at the scene and the female rear seat passenger was pronounced dead at the scene,” said Towne.

The driver has been identified by family members as 33-year-old Mark Garcia from Kailua, father of the 14-year-old girl.

“It’s a shock to hear this, it’s just too bad,” says Ken Takeya, Garcia’s former neighbor in Enchanted Lakes.

Neighbors say Garcia, his wife, and their two kids moved to Kailua about two years ago from Southern California

He owned a franchise called MOC Hawaii, distributing car-care products around Oahu.

“He always had a smile on his face, he was just one of these young people who really wanted everything out of life and was determined to get it one way or another,” said Takeya.

The other passenger is identified as 13-year-old Kamalani Kalama, who was riding in the back seat of the truck.

“We are looking at speed and alcohol as factors possible factors in this case, as far as seat belts, both front occupants were wearing their seat belt, the rear passenger was not,” said Towne.

The Pali Highway was shut down in the Kailua-bound direction until about 5:30 a.m. Sunday while police did their investigation and the Department of Transportation removed the broken street light.

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