COURTESY CARROLL COX / ENVIROWATCH
Police say speed was a factor in a single-car crash in Mililani on Friday night. Gillian Badua, 17, was pinned inside the car and died at the scene. CLICK FOR LARGE
Family, friends mourn free-spirited teenager
Gillian Badua died on Friday night after a car she was riding in hit a tree
Described as a free-spirited, independent-minded girl, 17-year-old Gillian Badua is now truly free, said the girl's grandmother.
Badua died Friday night in a single-car crash in Mililani that left another teen in critical condition.
At about 9:21 p.m. Friday, a red 1994 Volkswagen sedan was traveling northbound on Lanikuhana Avenue near Lea Place at a high speed, police said.
The car veered left off the roadway onto a sidewalk and wrapped around a tree on the passenger side. Badua was pinned inside the vehicle, and the car was smoldering.
Badua was pronounced dead at the scene, while the other passenger, 18-year-old Gavin Watson, was taken to the Queen's Medical Center in critical condition.
The driver, 21-year-old Justin Amorin, was hospitalized in serious condition. All three are from Mililani. Badua was set to graduate from Mililani High School this year. Watson is also in the senior class. Amorin graduated from Mililani in 2003.
Speed was a factor in the crash, which has been classified as a negligent homicide case, police said. Fatal accidents are often classified as negligent homicide cases when it is unknown at the time whether drugs or alcohol were factors in the crash, police said.
Badua is the 16th traffic fatality on Oahu this year, compared with nine at this time last year.
CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARBULLETIN.COM
Flowers and balloons were placed yesterday as a memorial to Gillian Badua at the scene of the accident where she died, near Lanikuhana Avenue and Lea Place in Mililani. CLICK FOR LARGE
The fatal crash comes a little more than a week after two 18-year-old women died in a two-car collision on Kapaa Quarry Road in Kailua.
Badua was like any other teenager, said her grandmother Patricia Kalima. She liked hanging out with her friends and talking on the phone, and she was a big reggae music fan.
"She was a feisty little one," Kalima said. "She could give you a run for your money. We would tell her no, and she'd say yes. If you say black, she would say white."
Kalima remembered Badua loving the Disney films, and would ask her family to address her by a different Disney princess every day. One day it would be Ariel, another would be Belle.
"I'm going to miss her just being there when I would come over, or when I call," Kalima said. "She'd always answer the phone because she thought she owned it."
Badua's mother, Michelle, is in the Air Force Reserve and is deployed to Afghanistan. She is expected to return to Honolulu tomorrow.
"She was very upset," Kalima said of her daughter. "She's on her way home, and we'll just take it from there."
Kalima said the rest of the family is together and pulling through.
"She's free now, flying with the angels," Kalima said. "I think sometimes us older people wish that was us, having no problems you know? But she's an angel now, and a bright star up there."
Word of Badua's death traveled fast among friends, who left comments on her online MySpace profile. Some childhood friends expressed deep regret that their relationship had drifted apart.
However, there was a common thread among the comments: Badua was someone they could talk to and depend on.
"For every tear that dropped from my face last night, there's some kind of peace that has to come out of it," Tasha Eisen wrote. "I will remember every great adventure we shared and every laugh we had."
Badua is survived by her parents, Loreto and Michelle Badua, and her brothers, Gabriel, Geoffrey and Garrett.
Woman, 66, hit by SUV becomes Oahu's eighth pedestrian fatality
The woman hit on Thursday at the busy intersection of Piikoi and Beretania streets died from her injuries Friday.
Lois Reed, 66, of Honolulu, died Friday night, and is the eighth pedestrian fatality on Oahu this year. There have been 16 people killed on Oahu roadways this year compared with nine at this time last year.
Reed was crossing Beretania Street in the mauka direction at about 9:45 a.m. when she was hit by a car driven by a 63-year-old woman making a left turn from Piikoi Street. Both had the green light and Reed was in a crosswalk.
Reed was initially taken to the Queen's Medical Center in serious condition, but was downgraded to critical soon afterward.
No arrests have been made. The driver of the sport utility vehicle, who did not wish to be identified, said she could not see Reed crossing the street.
Last year, 20 pedestrians were killed on Oahu roads.