Hanapepe woman 9th to die on roads

You can’t really blame the Kaua’i Police Department Traffic Safety Unit officers if they’ve been looking haggard lately, as some former police officers have noticed.

They’ve been responding to more fatal accidents than normal, especially recently.

With the death of Audrey Molabe of Hanapepe Heights at Wilcox Memorial Hospital Tuesday morning, the Kaua’i roadway death toll for 2005 rose to nine, including five within the last few weeks.

Family friends identified Molabe as the victim of a one-vehicle crash which, according to KPD officers and other county sources, happened along Kaumuali’i Highway near the intersection of ‘Oma’o Road around 7 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 8.

She was heading toward Lihu’e, apparently lost control of her truck on the rain-slicked highway, and crashed into a utility pole.

Bystanders pulled her out of her vehicle, still alive, but she suffered “fatal injuries” and was pronounced dead at Wilcox Memorial Hospital later, said Mary Daubert, county public information officer.

Killed in another one-car crash, when their vehicle left Kaumuali’i Highway near the Hanapepe Valley overlook and careened about halfway down the valley, were Donald Kanahele Jr., 35, and Jason Kanahele, 20, both of Kekaha.

Officially, their date of death is listed as Wednesday, Nov. 2, when their bodies and vehicle were discovered, though police sources speculate that the accident happened either Saturday, Oct. 29 or Sunday, Oct. 30, as they were last seen at a funeral Saturday.

County officials have still not identified the local female who perished in a twocar accident on Kuhio Highway near Wilcox Memorial Hospital on Monday, Oct. 31, nor the identity of a local male bicyclist who apparently was killed in a hit-and-run accident on Kuhio Highway in the vicinity of the Coconut Market-place in Waipouli on or around Saturday, Oct. 22.

Police have the identity of the bicyclist, but haven’t released the name pending notification of next of kin. They also said they have a suspect in the accident, whom they also did not name, as they are still seeking more evidence in order to make an arrest.

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