‘Travis, our ohana loves you’

  • Contributed photo

    Travis Isobe

A fund to pay for the funeral of Travis Isobe of Kilauea raised close to $10,000 in one day.

The 28-year-old son of Malani and Crystal Bilyeu died in a vehicle crash Saturday night in Kilauea.

A statement on the gofundme account said: “With the deepest of hearts, our family is in depths of SHOCK &despair, the Bilyeu Ohana lost their dad Malani Bilyeu to a heart attack on Dec 27th, 2018 and just laid him to rest in Oahu on January 14th, 2019…now the loss of his oldest son Travis Isobe is shocking to all of us, 28 years old is too young to go to heaven, to tragically be in the path of a truck crossing the center line. The only touch of peace is knowing his kind soul is with his dad, and all our family angels above.”

Isobe died as a result of an apparent head-on traffic crash on Kuhio Highway, in the vicinity of the Kahili Makai Street junction. A preliminary investigation found that, shortly before 9 p.m., a white Dodge pickup truck was heading south when it apparently crossed the center line and struck an oncoming black Ford Ranger truck driven by Isobe.

The driver of the Dodge pickup, Jesus Cardel, 22, Kilauea, was transported by ambulance to Wilcox Medical Center, where he was treated and released.

Kauai police arrested Cardel on Monday on suspicion of negligent homicide in the first degree. He has since been released pending further investigation.

The Bilyeu family was still recovering from the death of Malani Bilyeu, 69. The legendary musician’s career spanned decades, from success with the legendary Hawaiian band Kalapana to his standout solo career, and receiving a Na Hoku Hanohano Lifetime Achievement Award. Hundreds attended his funeral services Jan. 11 on Kauai.

A fund was also started to pay for Milani Bilyeu’s funeral.

Travis was the oldest son of Malani and Crystal.

Tiffany Mahelona, who started the gofundme account, said donations will help pay for Travis Isobe to be placed to rest in March next to his father on Oahu. Already, 93 people have donated $9,320 toward a goal of $20,000.

“This gofundme will also make it possible for Travis’ mother and siblings to attended the burial in Oahu, help with his service venue cost, travel cost to get Travis to Oahu, ground transportation to burial site, along with any other cost needed as Travis was the main source of income in the household,” she wrote.

Travis Isobe was loved by many and will be missed. Some of the comments on the gofundme account include:

Samuel Vernoa wrote, “Going to miss you Travis, no words can describe a loss like this, i was honored to have known you while you were here. I know you are present with our Lord receiving the treasures in heaven. Until we meet again…”

Bridget Clarke wrote, “Scriptures remind us that “unforeseen circumstances befall us all” and that “death is an enemy to man.” Only holding on to God’s love can give us the strength to go through what this family is experiencing and pray that a little help from us can make that journey less traumatic.”

Jenny Tanaka wrote, “Travis… Our Ohana loves you. Each one of us were touched by your humble ways. You showed me as a young adult that our Lord Jesus is the truth and the way. I’ll never forget at such a young age you were proclaiming God’s word over us, memorizing scriptures. My children had the privilege to experience your love and patience. Although gone too soon, you are flying high with angels. Thank you for making this world a better place. My heart hurts, but it’s smiling knowing that you smiling down on us from Heaven. God bless the Bilyeu Ohana. We are here for you.”

Travis Isobe leaves behind his mother Crystal Bilyeu and six siblings.

“On behalf of the Bilyeu Ohana we would like to express our love and appreciation for all your love, support and words of kindness during this time,” Mahelona wrote.


Bill Buley, editor-in-chief, can be reached at 245-0457 or bbuley@thegardenisland.com.

  1. CrossingCenterLine February 8, 2019 8:15 am Reply

    The affluent and chronically has a dangerous problem of crossing the center line in that area. It’s in a crisis stage.

    For years I drove from east side Kauai to the north shore and every time I would hug the shoulder. Several times tourists and locals would cross the line while in the opposite direction.i definitely feared for my life driving to the north shore like death alley Wailua golf course area and half way bridge.

    These are known unsafe driving areas so you would think that county, state, and kpd would prioritize vehicle safety and their concerns on those areas.

    This is Kauai and the undereducated are put into positions that lives depend on and fail miserably on a daily basis.

    Solutions have been brought up but one solution hat hasn’t been brought of is the drug and drug scene in that are of Kauai and the illegals and mainlanders that’s bringing in the heroin, meth, and coke.

    It’s a real huge mess and the truth is hidden because that’s area is mixed with long time residents (locals), affluent, poor, chronics, yoga/holistic hippies, and criminals.

    It’s a shame that no one is doing the checks and balances in that area. Was the driver that caused the accident under the influence or text messaging?

    I would like to know and the public deserves answers.

  2. Stuart and Mika Hollinger February 8, 2019 6:33 pm Reply

    With our deepest Love and Compassion for the Biyeu Ohana
    Stuart and Mika

  3. Wil Welsh February 8, 2019 11:51 pm Reply

    So sorry to hear of this double tragedy in the Bilyeu family. With countless others, I was an admirer of Malani’s musical/entertainment talents. Beyond that, he was a “class act,” warming those he touched with his guitar and his voice and a gentle heart. I didn’t know his son, but my heart goes out to the family in these very trying times.

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