Man sentenced in tragic crash

LIHUE — A Washington man who caused the deaths of two passengers in his vehicle after a crash will pay $1,800 in lieu of serving community service as part of his sentence.

Daniel Dunkin, 63, of Lacey, Washington, was charged on two counts of negligent homicide in the second degree on Aug. 26, 2015 after a two-car collision that occurred on the North Shore on May 1, 2014.

Dunkin was driving a Chevy carrying three passengers near Pili Road Junction when he attempted to make a left turn from the southbound lane. That’s when an oncoming Ford struck him. The 55-year-old Kilauea man in the Ford was not injured in the accident, but two of Dunkin’s passengers died.

George Nielson, 58, also of Lacey, died at the scene. A 62-year-old woman, Margaret Ratcliffe, was airlifted to Queen’s Medical Center on Oahu in critical condition where she later died.

Dunkin’s wife, 56-year-old Julie Fogliano, was injured in the accident. Dunkin was not injured.

The two made statements Wednesday.

“I apologize to all those who were affected by this accident,” Dunkin told the court. “I never saw anyone, otherwise it never would have happened. I just want to say thank you to everyone for helping me and whatnot. When you don’t see someone coming, it’s very hard to make … I apologize to all the parties involved.”

Fogliano told the court she lost her best friend in the car accident.

“She was more like a sister to me,” Fogliano said. “The accident we live through every day. We never saw that truck coming before it was going to hit us. We would never hurt anybody. There is no end to the grief we suffer.”

Alan Okamoto, making a special appearance for defense attorney Michael Green, said on behalf of Dunkin that the car accident was “an unfortunate event.”

He requested no community service be given to Dunkin and that he be sentenced to one-year probation. He also asked that Dunkin’s motion for deferral be granted.

Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Anne Clarkin told the court the state was requesting 240 hours of community service as per the plea agreement.

Fifth Circuit Court Judge Kathleen Watanabe granted Dunkin’s motion for deferral for a period of one year and sentenced him to one-year probation to be served in Washington.

The court converted the 240 hours of community service to a dollar amount. Dunkin will have to pay $1,800, instead of serving the community service.

On Jan. 26., Dunkin pleaded down to two misdemeanor charges of negligent homicide in the third degree. He was originally charged with two counts of negligent homicide in the second degree, class C felonies.

A third charge of negligent injury in the first degree was reduced to a misdemeanor, negligent injury in the second degree.

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