Man arrested in deadly head-on crash on Kauai involving stolen truck

Cody Safadago
Cody Safadago

Kauai police have arrested a man allegedly involved in a deadly head-on crash Thursday night.

It happened at around 10:45 p.m. on Kuhio Highway in Kapaa, fronting the Courtyards at Waipouli apartment complex.

The crash resulted in the death of Kayla Huddy-Lemn, 19, of Kapaa.

According to police, Huddy-Lemn was driving north when an oncoming Nissan pickup truck crossed the center line and struck her Mazda sedan. After the impact, police say the truck continued south approximately 500 feet until it came to a stop near Kintaro Japanese Restaurant.

An on-scene investigation revealed that the truck was stolen from a home on Makaha Road in Kapaa just moments earlier.

Huddy-Lemn was taken to Wilcox Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead.

Following the crash, the truck’s driver, Cody Safadago, 46, ran off. He was eventually found by police near Wailua Shopping Plaza and captured following a brief struggle. He was taken to Wilcox Medical Center for medical evaluation, and police say he suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

Safadago has no known address but is believed to live in the Kalalau Valley and is originally from Washington State.

Safadago was later transported to the Lihue police station and arrested on multiple charges, including negligent homicide, accidents involving death, unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle, operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant, resisting arrest, driving without a license, inattention to driving, and reckless driving.

His bail was initially set at $32,000, but raised Saturday afternoon to $1 million.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation but speed and alcohol appear to be contributing factors.

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