Head-on collision kills driver on H-3
Police say a woman went the wrong way in the morning crash
A 33-year-old Pearl City mother of two died early yesterday morning after her car collided with an oncoming vehicle that was traveling in the wrong direction on the H-3 freeway.
"It is pretty rare that someone goes in the wrong direction on a freeway," said Sgt. Michael Brady of the HPD's traffic division vehicular homicide section. "I have not heard of that before, so I have no idea how that happened."
Police said a 46-year-old Montana woman was heading east in the westbound lane near Halawa Valley Road around 3:45 a.m. when her new Chevy Malibu hit Janice Madamba's four-door Honda Accord that was town-bound in the left lane.
Madamba died at the scene.
Capt. Kenui Spencer of the Honolulu Fire Department said firefighters used an Amkus, which is a jaw-like hydraulic tool that can bend, compress, stretch and cut metal, for about 45 minutes to extract both seat-belted drivers from the wreckage.
Bryan Cheplic, a spokesman for the Honolulu Emergency Services Department, said the airbags deployed in Mad-amba's car.
Madamba's immediate family declined to comment.
Her uncle Chito Batoon said: "I am very saddened by this. I watched her grow up playing with my children."
Batoon said Madamba was a quiet person who is survived by a daughter in high school and a son in intermediate school, her father Julian Madamba Jr., mother Teresita of Kalihi, and sister Grace of Ewa Beach.
Batoon said Madamba was either separated or divorced from her husband and worked at a Kapiolani hospital.
Cheplic said the Montana woman who suffered "serious traumatic injuries" was initially unresponsive and in critical condition. However, once she was in the ambulance en route to Queens Medical Center, she began responding to questions and was upgraded to serious but stable condition, Cheplic said.
Police said speed was a possible factor and have not determined if alcohol was involved.
They said the accident occurred during rainy conditions in an illuminated area with light traffic and have classified it as a negligent homicide case.
This was the 48th traffic fatality of the year for Oahu, compared with 39 at the same time in 2005.