Corey Voss, 41, Oahu Country Club food and beverage director, was killed Monday in a Kahaluu accident.
Crash victim treasured his family
Oahu Country Club's beverage manager was hit by a tour bus
Corey Voss was excited about the birth of his first child in September, planning to take Lamaze classes with his wife, Asa. The couple had already chosen the baby's name, Ava.
That was all he could focus on, said co-worker and catering manager Terry Travens of the Oahu Country Club in Nuuanu.
"He loved children. His family always came first," Travens said yesterday.
Voss, 41, food and beverage director of Oahu Country Club for the past eight years, was killed Monday afternoon. A Roberts Hawaii tour bus slammed into a black sport utility vehicle Voss was driving as he was heading home to Kahaluu after surfing. Voss was about a half-mile from his home when the crash occurred, said his co-workers.
Traffic investigators said Voss was driving northbound on the highway when the tour bus driver apparently crossed the center line while heading in the opposite direction and crashed into the SUV at Makaipooa Road. The bus then crashed through a chain-link fence, went over a knee-high rock wall and smashed into a three-bedroom home along the highway, but did not injure anyone else.
The Roberts Hawaii bus driver, a 49-year-old Waipio man, was arrested for investigation of third-degree negligent homicide at the scene of the crash and refused to take a Breathalyzer test. The suspect was released pending an investigation at 11:45 p.m. Monday.
Traffic records of the suspect show that he was cited in 2001 for failing to stop for a pedestrian and for an illegal right turn at a red light.
Robert Moore, managing director and chief operating officer of Roberts Hawaii, said yesterday in a news release: "Our hearts and prayers go out to the families impacted. Our procedures include a thorough investigation (and) the driver has been put on administrative leave pending the completion of the entire investigative process.
"We will be performing our own independent investigation while fully cooperating with police."
Yesterday, Voss' co-workers at Oahu Country Club were visibly upset by his death, struggling to carry on with daily duties.
General Manager Loren Pippin recalled how Voss picked him up from the Honolulu Airport three years ago when he first arrived in Oahu from Oregon. Pippin said Voss helped him get accustomed to the local culture, as well as assisting him professionally at the club.
Pippin showed festive photos of Voss with other co-workers as they celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Oahu Country Club on Thursday and a luau held Sunday.
Voss played an instrumental role in making the centennial event special, Pippin said.
"It's just very sad to go from the joy and emotional high from the celebrations, all of which went very well and were well-received from our members, to such an emotional low. It really makes the memories of the weekend all the more poignant," he said, choking back tears.
Co-workers had planned to hold a celebration for Voss on Tuesday, for his eighth anniversary with the Oahu Country Club and a new job he accepted as an assistant manager at the Embassy Suites hotel in Waikiki that is under construction. Co-workers now plan to hold a memorial for Voss on Monday at the crash site.
"He was about to open a new chapter in his life and we were all very happy for him," Pippin said.
Travens added: "He was a great boss to work for. He was always there for you to support you."
Voss was the past president of the Paradise of the Pacific Chapter of Club Managers Association of America. He was also co-chairman of the World Conference on Club Management held in Honolulu in February. "We miss him personally and professionally," Pippin said.
Voss, who is originally from Washington, moved to Hawaii when he was about 5 years old. A 1982 graduate of Kalaheo High School, Voss enjoyed the outdoors, going to barbecues with family and friends, and surfing. One of his favorite surf spot was Tonggs off Diamond Head, Travens said, adding that Voss was teaching her 11-year-old daughter, Natasha, how to surf.
Travens said she first heard about the crash from Voss' wife Monday, who received a call from the medical examiner. "She's holding up as best as she can," she said. "It's just a major shock for the whole family."
The couple were married for five or six years.
Voss relished the country lifestyle of Kahaluu, bringing ti and banana leaves from his yard to decorate the club for special events and, more recently, the club's centennial event, said his co-workers.
He was a dependable, honest and trustworthy person who had a "good dry sense of humor," Pippin said.
"If there is any solace in any of this, at least we know he spent his last day here on Earth doing what he loved: He was out surfing on the North Shore," Pippin said.