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Friday, July 6, 2001




KSAKAMOTO / KSAKAMOTO@STARBULLETIN.COM
Ryan Miguel appeared in court yesterday on charges
related to the death of 12-year-old Nancy Phongsavath.



Van driver in Kalihi
accident pleads
not guilty in
girl’s death

One girl still remains in a
coma following the
Aug. 22 incident


By B.J. Reyes
breyes@starbulletin.com

The driver of a van that veered off a road and struck three young girls last August pleaded not guilty to charges stemming from the death of one of the girls.

Ryan A. Miguel, 24, of Honolulu, was arraigned yesterday on a charge of third-degree negligent homicide in the death of 12-year-old Nancy Phongsavath.

The girl was walking home Aug. 22 with two friends along Kamehameha IV Road in Kalihi when the van swerved out of control and onto the sidewalk.

Twelve-year-old Switzer Luab was injured in the crash, while her 10-year-old sister, Hilovelyn, remains in a coma, said David Turk, an attorney for the Luab family. He declined comment on Miguel's arraignment.

Howard Luke, Miguel's attorney, said his client would have no comment.

"We've received the police reports," Luke said. "We need to review the reports and go through the legal process. We don't expect this case to drag on very long."

Police have said Miguel was distracted while driving. Phone records show Miguel answered a cellular phone call around the time of the accident, Turk said.

Phongsavath's parents are suing Miguel and his employer, AMV Air Conditioning, the van's owner, for unspecified damages.



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