Family mourns Maui woman who died in plane crash

Full Story: 3 dead, 3 injured after plane crashes on Lanai

Tremaine Balberdi worked for Maui County for more than 20 years.

Her husband and daughter say she was a hard worker whose smile, hugs, and kisses will be missed.

When Tremaine Balberdi was leaving Lanai on Wednesday night, she called her husband, George. That was the last time they spoke.

“They were on the runway and I’ll see you at home, okay? And I said, ‘Okay’ and she told me she loves me and said I love her.  Two seconds after the house phone rang, I looked at the phone and was her cell number,” George Balberdi said.

He said her phone went dead. He went to the airport to pick her up, but she never arrived.

“I called my daughter I said, did mom call home? She said ‘no.’ And she said, ‘Dad, there was an accident on Lanai. A plane crash,'” he said.

He later learned his wife, and high school sweetheart, did not survive. Balberdi said his wife worked for Maui County’s planning department for 23 years and was someone who worked hard, and never said no.

“She was a woman that always gave, never complained, she always went extra,” he said.

Their only child, Malia, also works in the planning department.

“I go to work with her. I see her all day. I come home with her, I live with her, I wake up with her, she takes care of my son,” said Malia Balberdi, daughter.

The Balberdis are trying to make sense of what happened, and wonder if things could’ve been different.

“You know I don’t know, I’m just lost, I don’t know why they flew, why they flew, late, windy, gusty winds,” George Balberdi said.

They don’t know how they’ll move on, without the woman who they say was their everything.

“Her smile, her hugs, her kisses, like she would just light up the room. My son would just run to her and say “grammy”,” Malia Balberdi said.

“We’ve been together 32 years. We’re just joking the other day, 32 years, you know that? I said yeah, and I told her, many more to come,” George Balberdi said.

Tremaine Balberdi was supposed to have the day off from work Thursday to watch her only grandchild accept the student-of-the-month award.

She was a graduate of Baldwin High School.

Tremaine Balberdi was 52 years old.

 

Below: Watch an uncut interview with George and Malia Balberdi.

 

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