Family mourns loss of victim killed in fiery crash while wife recovers in hospital

Lame and Alana Lavaka

Family members are still in shock over the loss of a loved one killed in a fiery crash on Hawaii island Wednesday morning.

Three men died and a woman was hospitalized in critical condition following a two-car crash on Queen Kaahumanu Highway near Kona International Airport.

Police say the driver of an SUV lost control while passing other vehicles and hit an oncoming truck. The collision left both vehicles engulfed in flames.

The two men in the SUV died in the crash, as did the truck’s driver, who family members identified as Lame Lavaka. His wife, Alana, was in the passenger seat.

“My mom called me and told me about what happened,” said Lavaka’s brother, Leo Lavaka. “I cannot stop crying, because our family, they really, really looked forward to him. He really helped my parents and respected all of us.”

The couple has five children. The family lives in Waimea, where Lame Lavaka made a living as a wood carver.

Leo Lavaka tells us his brother worked hard for his family, and was a generous man who always helped others.

“He shared everything he got with the family, especially our parents,” said Leo Lavaka. “He helped a lot (with) money, anything. He gave anything he got for us and our sisters. He’s really strong in our church. That’s why we love him.”

Family members say Alana Lavaka is still unconscious in the hospital, but doctors have told them that she is expected to recover.

They still don’t understand why the crash occurred, and are asking those who have additional information to call the Hawaii Police Department.

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