Critically injured man ID’d

The 20-year-old man severely injured in a car accident early Tuesday has been identified by the county as Frank Romero of Lihu‘e.

“He’s a really good kid,” said Giuseppe Avocadi, owner of Cafe Portofino where Romero works, yesterday. “They operated on his heart today.”

According to Avocadi, Romero suffered a contusion to his head and three broken veretebrae. “He also broke several ribs,” Avocadi said.

A Kauai County press release states Romero was the driver, but Avocadi believes he was the passenger. There was a 25-year-old man in the car with Romero that the county has yet to identify. That person was treated and released at Wilcox Memorial Hospital early Tuesday.

Around 3 a.m., Tuesday, the car the pair was in drove off the shoulder of Kuhio Highway near South Leho Drive in the Wailua area, resulting in the crash. Romero was taken to Wilcox Memorial Hospital and later airlifted to Honolulu.

Romero has been employed by Cafe Portofino for a year and a half as a cleaner and a busser. “He’s a great employee,” Avocadi said. “He grew up with my son in Santa Fe.”

Avocadi’s son, Max, is on O‘ahu with Romero during his surgeries.

A county release states Romero remains in critical condition at Queen’s Medical Center.

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