Family, friends mourn victims killed in head-on crash on Kauai

Friends and family are grieving the loss of four people killed when a Nissan Cube crossed the center line and crashed into an oncoming delivery truck on Kauai.

It happened on Friday, March 31, shortly before 9 a.m. on Kuhio Highway in Kealia.

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, Chelsey-Lynn Perreira, 28, and her 2-year-old son, Kawainakoa Camat, were flown to Queen’s Medical Center on Oahu in critical condition.

Camat died Sunday morning, April 2, and Perreira’s death was confirmed Tuesday, April 4.

Ashley Gorospe (Photo: Britney Ikeda)

Britney Ikeda visited a memorial at the crash site Wednesday. She says Gorospe was a close friend.

“She was always there for me. We didn’t go to the same high school, but we were pretty much best friends,” she said. “She has two pretty little girls. I have two kids of my own, so I just cried. It hurts thinking I didn’t know it was her in there, and to have a friend from school and a best friend pass away, it’s definitely hurtful.”

Kauai County Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. is also reeling from the loss. He is related to two of the victims, Perreira and Camat.

“We’re all in this situation right now as a family, ohana, trying to reflect back and pull together and try to support each other,” Carvalho said. “I live right here in this area of Kauai. It’s a reminder to all of us. Lives were lost. Families are broken. Just by the love and aloha right on the roadside, we have seen many people gather here, family members, friends, just reflecting or remembering the loss that happened right here on this roadway.”

Meanwhile, Kauai police are still trying to determine what caused the crash. They’re still investigating whether speed, drugs, or alcohol were factors.

“We don’t know whether or not there was an operator malfunction in terms physically, or whether or not there was a mechanical malfunction or something, or distraction and the rest, but we’re still investigating that,” said Kauai Police Chief Darryl Perry. “The truck driver tried to avoid the collision by turning to the right and actually collided into the guardrail.”

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

Chelsey-Lynn Perreira and Kawainakoa Camat (Photo: Kekoa Camat)

We’re told a car seat was in the car, but police aren’t sure if the toddler was strapped in.

Perry says investigators are following up with witnesses. He also encourages more witnesses to come forward, as there are a lot of unknowns in the investigation.

“There’s no clear markings, no obstructions, and that’s why this case is such a dilemma. Not knowing. It was a beautiful day. No rain. The weather conditions were perfect, so we don’t know exactly what occurred,” he said.

As the investigation continues, so does the healing process.

“I’m sure it’s going to be here for a long while as we pass here every day,” Carvalho said. “(I’m) just hoping everybody can be safe and move on in a positive way, but never forget what happened here on this roadway and that it will never happen again.”

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