A 32-year-old man from Hauula died in a two-vehicle crash near Waiahole Valley Saturday night.
Family and friends placed flowers and said prayers Sunday afternoon at the site of the crash to remember 32-year-old Onipaa Paaaina.
Debris and shattered glass from the crash still lay about on the ground.
“He was one of those people who you could call anywhere, anytime, and he’d be there for you,” said Paaaina’s cousin Misty Makalena. “It’s just really rough — really, really rough.”
Police said Paaaina was heading north on Kamehameha Highway around 8:30 p.m. when he lost control of his pickup truck just past Waiahole Valley Road. He crossed into the southbound lane and struck another vehicle. Paaaina died at the scene.
The driver of the second car, a 39-year-old woman from California, and two passengers — a 39-year-old woman and a 46-year-old man — were taken to the hospital. The driver is in good condition while the passengers are in serious condition. EMS personnel reported that the three people were wearing their seat belts.
“We really, really want to extend our prayers to the other family that was injured,” Makalena said. “I’m not sure if they were a family, but we really, really, really want them to recover.”
Paaaina’s family told KHON that he was coming back from Kaneohe.
According to police, it appears drugs may have been a factor in this crash, though folks who live in the area say accidents on this stretch of road have happened before.
“It’s always this corner coming around,” Justin Ledford said. “If you’re coming at night, and there’s no cars on the road, you’re gonna be flying.”
It’s not known how fast Paaaina may have been driving and police are still working out exactly what happened.
Paaaina’s death marks the 46th traffic fatality of the year, compared to 43 this time last year.