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Fatal crash victim identified

KAPAA — A 50-year-old Oahu man who died in a two-car crash in Kapaa Monday night has been identified as Nick Garza.

According to a preliminary investigation, a white SUV was heading south on Kuhio Highway when it crossed the center line in an attempt to overtake a southbound silver SUV. As a northbound vehicle approached, the white SUV swerved back into the southbound lane and collided with the silver SUV. The impact of the collision caused the white SUV to lose control and crash into a utility pole near the Mailihuna Road junction.

Garza, a front-seat passenger of the white SUV, was ejected from the vehicle during the crash.

The male driver of the white SUV, 38, of Oahu, had to be extricated from the vehicle by responding firefighters. He was transported by medics to Wilcox Medical Center with critical injuries.

A second male passenger of the white SUV was treated and released at Wilcox Medical Center.

The driver of the silver SUV, an 18-year-old female of Anahola, did not report any injuries.

The investigation remains ongoing.

3 Comments
  1. Steve February 15, 2019 7:55 am Reply

    When will our elected officials say enough is enough? With the island now at 65k residents and more cars per capita than in years past, we’re putting all our lives and our children’s lives at (fatal) risk with the same antiquated roads. If there were ‘t enough other reasons (efficiency, pollution, wasted time/resources, emergency vehicular access…) for an extra lane each way around the island, than the killing of so many individuals this year alone would be enough. Time to stop pointing at excuses. Time to quit with the silly bandaids (buses) and shoot-yourself-in-the-foot solutions like limiting rental cars! The need for a two lane system, with safely divided 2-lane highways between towns is the only real solution—and this has been obvious for at least the last thirty years.


    1. 96706 February 15, 2019 12:18 pm Reply

      Aloha Steve,

      Interesting view point although blaming infrastructure for such a tragedy is misinformed.

      The 18 year old driver was intoxicated, speeding and trying to overtake the other vehicle on a portion of the highway where there is low visibility because of the topography of the coast.

      It is not larger roads that we need but actual enforcement of traffic rules. I have NEVER seen police enforcing basic traffic violations such as speeding, drunk driving, tailgating. What I have witnessed are people smoking pot, texting, carrying unsafe loads at the back of their vehicles, passing despite a double yellow line, speeding and even doing heroine while behind the wheel. In my opinion these dangerous, irresponsible behaviors are the cause of unnecessary fatalities.

      An extra lane each way on the highway might solve traffic issues for 6 months before the infrastructure is saturated again. Examples abound around the world. On top of that, wider roads lead to more speeding. Efficient public transport (you can ride a bus drunk / intoxicated by the way) and high taxes on rental vehicles to finance them are more reasonable for Kauai tax payers and safer for everyone in the long run.

      Mahalo for starting a necessary debate.


      1. Steve February 17, 2019 10:58 am Reply

        Yes Mr Zip, infrustructure WILL re-saturate—if Kauai follows the island of Oahu down the road of rampant, uncontrolled development coupled with unenforced, irresponsible zoning. But saying we should not improve the safety and efficiency of our roads because that will give leave to developers and their political enablers to make bad decisions in the future here is like saying “don’t see a doctor, you’ll just get sick again.” For thirty years I’ve heard politicians (who sound like you, btw) blame a host of reasons and come up with half-measures while they spend our money on palaces like our courthouse (fit for twice the population) and a police station fortress where you can’t even talk to somebody without throwing a figurative stone at a 2nd floor window and waiting 20 mins. for someone to come out. Meanwhile we sit in traffic for hours every day staring at bumpers like lemmings in someone’s dystopian idea of a tropical island. Please, peddle your buses and “increased enforcement” downtown where they like hearing that stuff.


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