Tuesday, September 24, 2002

Flowers, balloons and memorabilia were left near the site of a two-car collision on Maui on Friday that left three youths dead and one in critical condition. Two high schools on Maui offered counseling to students grieving the loss yesterday.

Teen crash
victims mourned

5 Maui boys were involved in a crash
that has left 3 dead and 4 injured

By Gary T. Kubota

WAILUKU >> His friends in Iao Valley say Joshua Ayo-nayon was a brother to them. They say he and his family opened their house to neighborhood youths who needed a temporary home.

"You ever had major trauma, we had a place to stay," said Tita Keohohina, a friend.

His mother, Dottie Ayo-nayon, a single working parent, said her son had missed a year in school but had returned to Baldwin High School determined to finish his studies.

"He did try to turn himself around," she said.

Joshua, 16, his best friend Fleming Bascar Jr., 17, and Kauilamakahikina Neula, also 17, died following a head-on collision in Maui's central valley Friday night.

Beau Hiwatashi, 17, was listed in critical condition at Maui Memorial Hospital.

Fleming's cousin Bronson Bascar, 14, was listed in stable condition at Queen's Medical Center on Oahu.

Maui police investigators said a Honda carrying the five youths was traveling in the Lahaina direction on Honoapiilani Highway just south of Waikapu when it passed a vehicle, then lost control and struck an oncoming car at about 9:18 p.m. Friday.

Police said the Honda was torn in half by the collision and came to a stop in the Wailuku-bound lane.

The other vehicle, a Chevrolet, came to rest off the east side of the road near sugar cane fields.

A Poway, Calif., couple in the other car were listed in stable condition at Maui Memorial Hospital.

Police Lt. Charles Hirata said the couple wore seat belts, but police believe that none of the five youths were wearing them.

Investigators are still looking into whether speed, alcohol or drugs were factors in the accident.

Ayonayon was a student at Baldwin High School. Fleming Bascar and Hiwatashi had attended Baldwin but were no longer enrolled there. Neula lived in Kihei and attended Maui High School.

Officials at both schools said there was a steady stream of students requiring counseling yesterday, including friends and relatives.

Some at Baldwin High wrote letters to the families, expressing their condolences.

Neula's brother Kealii attends Maui High.

Baldwin High School Principal Stephen Yamada said his school has had more than its share of traffic deaths of students and recent graduates, suffering about six to eight in the last 10 years.

Baldwin High School counselor Kim Otani said Ayonayon was quiet, shy and making some changes in his life to get a new start in school.

"It's just a tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families," Otani said.

E-mail to City Desk


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