Killed Kapolei student had infectious personality
Eighteen-year-old Tanya House dreamed of a career in fashion design.
"She was into fashion -- her unique style," said friend and fellow band student Chester Jamorabon, 17. "The genre of her clothes were diverse. She stood out." She would even sport on occasion a black top hat, he said.
House's upbeat personality drew people to her and caused her to be well liked among band students, with whom she spent 16 hours a week practicing flute in the marching and symphonic bands, said Daryl Agena, band director at Kapolei High School.
"It is like a second family," Agena said.
So the news of her death spread rapidly among band students.
On Monday night, House and a 16-year-old boy, Leslie C. Kim, were killed and two others injured when the car they were in flew off a Kalaeloa roadway that ends abruptly and into a canal. The 19-year-old driver, House's boyfriend, received serious injuries, and Kim's brother Ronald, 14, received minor injuries.
Police said the car was speeding and that alcohol might have been a factor in the crash.
Jamorabon, who drove to the accident site on Roosevelt Avenue yesterday -- where bouquets, leis and signs marked where House and Kim died -- said his friend was a "really gorgeous girl. Friendly, nice, really kind. She appreciates anything she gets."
Kim's father has criticized the state's inaction in not erecting barriers and signs sooner and has visited the site with an attorney friend.
"I did not want to see where my son died," Lester Kim said. "People told me just go and look."
He found the road, which is unlit at night, dangerous.
Roosevelt Avenue abruptly ends, dropping off into a canal about 25 feet below.
Kim said he has been bothered by radio listeners' comments. They say if a barricade had been put up, the car would have hit it and they would all have died.
But if a barrier was put up, at least it would have given the driver time to see it and stop, he said.
A man familiar with the area who was at the scene the night of the accident said the fence has been down for two years.
The state is conducting its own investigation into the accident, and road conditions and erected concrete barriers Wednesday where a chain-link fence once stood.
Yellow barriers have been placed several yards before the concrete barriers.
Scott Ishikawa, spokesman for the state Department of Transportation, said the fence was meant to block off a dirt road that some drivers use to get to Kalaeloa Boulevard.
He said the fence seems to be continually taken down.
Ishikawa said it was recently noted the fence was down, and a work order was put in Monday for the barriers.