Separate car crashes kill 2 Oahu teens
Police say speeding was among the factors in both fatal accidents
Eighteen-year-old Bobby Gouveia was scheduled to leave for Arizona tomorrow to attend a school for diesel mechanics.
His passion was cars, said Johanna Ramos at her Waialua home, and that was why he was traveling so far to study. Gouveia eventually planned on opening his own auto business.
"He had so much life ahead of him," Ramos said.
Gouveia, of Waialua, was one of two passengers who died Sunday in two crashes on Oahu. A 19-year-old woman, identified by the Department of the Medical Examiner as Joahl A. Mirafuentes, was pronounced dead Sunday night after a vehicle she was in flipped over and landed on its roof on Moanalua Freeway.
Speed was a factor in both crashes, police said.
Gouveia was the front-seat passenger in a 1991 Acura Integra driven by 18-year-old Keanan Tantog. Police said they were heading toward Kaena Point on Farrington Highway in Mokuleia at about 2:40 a.m. Sunday when the vehicle veered across the center line near Hoomana Place.
Police and Gouveia's mother said the vehicle struck a Civil Defense siren pole and fence before it stopped at Dillingham Airfield.
Gouveia was pronounced dead at the scene. The medical examiner said the cause of death was multiple traumatic injuries sustained in the crash.
An update on the condition of the other passenger, Alexander "Nainoa" Kinney, could not be released because he is a minor. Tantog is in stable condition at Queen's.
Along with speeding, alcohol was a factor in the crash, police said.
FL MORRIS / FMORRIS@STARBULLETIN.COM
A makeshift memorial was constructed yesterday along Farrington Highway at Dillingham Airfield for Bobby Gouveia, 18, who died early Sunday in a traffic accident.
A makeshift floral memorial was created at the crash site near the entrance of Dillingham Airfield. Photos of Gouveia were taped to a white tarp tied to the chain-link fence with messages from family members and loved ones. Three unopened Heineken beer bottles and another one about a quarter full surrounded the flowered pot.
Later that night, Mirafuentes and her boyfriend, Jayppy Riveral, were traveling east on the Moanalua Road extension in a gray 2004 two-door Infinity at about 11:55 p.m.
Witnesses observed Riveral operating the vehicle erratically at a high rate of speed.
Police said he lost control of the vehicle near a curb area before he traveled sideways into a grassy median culvert and flipped over. Police said the vehicle came to rest on Moanalua Freeway.
Mirafuentes, a graduate of Waipahu High School, was pronounced dead at the scene. The medical examiner said the cause of death was cranial cerebral injuries she sustained in the crash.
Riveral was taken to Queen's and remains in critical condition. A family member, who did not want her name published, said he was undergoing surgery yesterday after he suffered a fractured skull and swelling to his head.
Police said another vehicle, described possibly as a late-model, dark-blue Toyota, might have been involved in the crash.
Mirafuentes' death is the 78th traffic-related fatality on Oahu, compared with 61 at the same time last year.
Sixty-nine of the 78 fatalities involved collisions, said Michelle Yu, spokeswoman of the Honolulu Police Department. And of the 69 collisions, 35 involved speeding.
Speeding was attributed to more than half of the fatal collisions on Oahu during the same time period in each of the past two years.
Last year, 31 of 58 fatal collisions involved speeding as well as 30 of the 47 collisions in 2004.
"We are concerned with the overall number of fatalities and the significant number that involves speeding," Yu said.
Anyone with information on the crash involving Mirafuentes is asked to call officer Dennis Tamanaha of the Honolulu Police Department's Traffic Division at 529-3499.