An 18-year-old woman died and four other people were critically injured in a deadly crash on H-1 Freeway Wednesday involving a Jeep.
The tragedy has family members speaking out about the dangers of drinking and driving.
According to police, a 19-year-old male driver from Wahiawa lost control and struck a guardrail. Alcohol is a possible factor in the crash.
The vehicle rolled over multiple times, ejecting all five people inside.
The woman was pronounced dead at the scene. Her grandmother identified her to KHON2 as Kortney Biton-Schubert.
In additional to the driver, a 19-year-old male passenger, a 22-year-old male passenger, and a 20-year-old female passenger were hospitalized in critical condition.
According to authorities, none of the occupants were wearing seat belts.
Verna Schubert says she raised Biton-Schubert as a child, and she’s speaking in the hopes of preventing another tragedy.
“Teach your children to stop drinking and driving and doing stupid things. I lost my granddaughter and it… It’s terrible. It’s terrible to see that happen to other people but when it hits home like this, it’s so difficult,” Schubert said.
Schubert says Biton-Schubert was getting her life in order, doing some modeling and getting ready to go back to school.
She says the whole family is devastated. “She was a beautiful and talented girl and she had dreams of doing something with her life and I totally backed her with that and I’m gonna miss her very much,” Schubert said.
Family members identified the 22-year-old crash victim as Josh Tica. The Pearl City resident remains at Queen’s Medical Center.
On Wednesday night, his mother, Carlen Correa, received the phone call all parents fear.
“An officer called me at 12:45 a.m. last night and informed me that there was an accident around 9:30 p.m. where my son was ejected from the Jeep along with four others,” she said.
Correa agrees measures need to be taken to prevent other families from suffering similar tragedies.
“Some of these kids think it’s not going to happen to me and the reality is it can happen to anyone,” she said. “You never think this will happen to you or you expect that phone call in the middle of the night. Please don’t drink and drive. Don’t get in the car with someone who is intoxicated, and wear a seat belt.”
It’s still not clear if or how the 19-year-old driver was able to get alcohol.
Family members say they do not know where the group was before the crash occurred.
All lanes of the H-1 Freeway eastbound were closed at Vineyard off-ramp at around 9:39 p.m. and reopened around 1:15 a.m.