Parents of teen killed in plunge file suit
WAILUKU » The parents of a teenager who died when the vehicle he was riding in went off a Lahaina pali cliff has filed a lawsuit against the estate of the deceased driver and the state.
Robert Makekau and Karen "Kalena" R. Dougher are seeking compensation in the death of their 16-year-old son, James Makekau.
Makekau was riding in the rear seat of a vehicle driven by his girlfriend, Denise Callo, when the vehicle went over the edge of an unpaved lookout April 13 after a section of earth gave in while turning to exit, according to the lawsuit filed in Maui Circuit Court on Wednesday.
Denise Callo's parents, Ernest and Annette Callo, filed a similar lawsuit against the state June 6.
Passengers Tiffany Romena, 16, and her 3-month-old daughter, Kaila Callo, survived.
Karen Dougher, who now lives on the Big Island, said she hopes the lawsuit results in the state closing off vehicular access to the unpaved lookout so a similar accident doesn't happen again.
The lawsuit filed by Dougher and Makekau alleges that Callo, who died in the crash, did not exercise reasonable care and was a substantial factor in causing the death of their son.
Callo, 34, was legally drunk when the car she was driving plunged down a 150-foot Maui cliff along Honoapiilani Highway, about a half-mile north of the Lahaina pali tunnel.
According to police, Callo also had traces of marijuana in her blood.
State transportation spokesman Scott Ishikawa said he could not comment because he has not seen the lawsuit.