4 killed in head-on crash on Kauai, including mother, toddler

Photo: Steve Nkaia

A fourth victim has died following a head-on crash that occurred on Kauai on Friday morning, March 31.

It happened shortly before 9 a.m. on Kuhio Highway in Kealia.

According to police, a Nissan Cube was heading south on the highway fronting St. Catherine Cemetery when it apparently crossed the center line and crashed into an oncoming delivery truck.

Markis Carveiro, 28, of Kapaa was driving the Nissan. He died at the scene.

His three passengers were hospitalized at Wilcox Medical Center where one backseat passenger, Ashley Gorospe, 26, from Kapaa, was pronounced dead.

The other backseat passenger and her two-year-old son, who was riding in the front seat, were flown to Queen’s Medical Center on Oahu in critical condition. Officials said the boy was in a car seat, and was thrown from the vehicle.

On Sunday, April 2, Kauai police confirmed that the 2-year-old, identified as Kawainakoa Camat, died that morning. Then on Tuesday, April 4, officials confirmed the death of his mother, Chelsey-Lynn Perreira, 28.

The driver of the delivery truck, a 54-year-old Kapaa man, did not report any serious injuries.

“This was a tragic event that has left our entire community heartbroken. We are a tight-knit island and those involved are our family, friends, and neighbors,” said Kauai County Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. “The Camat family is my ‘ohana and we are dealing with the sudden loss of our loved ones. My heart is also with the Carveiro and Gorospe families, as well as the driver of the delivery truck, who is also a victim of this tragedy. May they find comfort in knowing that our hearts and prayers are with them during this difficult time.

“I can only hope this serves as a wake-up call to all motorists to please drive carefully and attentively to help prevent this type of tragedy from every occurring again. I know we can all do better to help keep each other safe on our roadways.”

Kauai Police Chief Darryl Perry says the crash occurred at a curve in the roadway.

“We know of the relatives of the victims, and my condolences and the condolences of our KPD ohana goes out to them,” he said. “We wish them the very best and we will do our very best for them in the investigation phase of this fatality.”

Kuhio Highway was closed in both directions from approximately 8:50 a.m. to 1:10 p.m. while traffic investigators conducted an on-scene investigation and crews worked to tow the vehicles and clear the scene.

The investigation is ongoing. While it’s too early to say whether distracted driving played a role in the crash, Perry says it’s a good reminder for all drivers to keep their focus on the road.

“My recommendation for drivers is to always be aware of your surrounding. Make sure you’re not distracted by using your cell phones or anything else and pay particular attention to cars in the opposite lane,” he said.

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