Mom of 2 forgives Matsumoto for crash
Collision leaves victim in shock
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She has a surgical rod in her leg, pins in her ankles, staples in her head.
And forgiveness in her heart.
Cassie Olaivar, 35, the mother of two young girls, remains hospitalized after a head-on crash on the H-1 freeway early Friday. The other driver, heading against traffic at 3:30 a.m., was widely known local playwright Lisa Matsumoto, who later died.
Among her visitors at the Queen's Medical Center were Matsumoto's mother and sister, both in tears, Olaivar said.
"If it means anything, I forgive your daughter," she recalled telling the mom.
At the time of the accident, Matsumoto's blood alcohol content was .242, three times the legal limit of .08, according to the Medical Examiner's Office.
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Her visitors were in tears.
Cassie Olaivar tried to console them.
"If it means anything, I forgive your daughter," she recalls telling the mother of playwright Lisa Matsumoto, at her bedside with another daughter.
In a phone interview from the Queen's Medical Center, Olaivar, 35, described the accident early Friday in which her car collided with one driven against traffic by Matsumoto, a widely known local writer and performer.
"I just don't know how to feel about this," said Olaivar, who has a broken right leg and ankle and nine staples in her head. "I'm glad I'm alive and here for my kids."
Olaivar has two daughters, one who is 8 and another who turns 5 tomorrow .
At the time of the accident, Matsumoto's blood alcohol content was .242, three times the legal limit of .08, according to the Medical Examiner's Office. She was driving the wrong way on the westbound lanes of the H-1 freeway when the cars collided at 3:30 a.m. near the Houghtailing Street offramp.
Matsumoto died later Friday.
Olaivar was in stable condition yesterday after surgery Friday, during which a rod was inserted in her right leg and pins in her ankle. She had nine staples to close cuts to her head along the hairline.
"Eventually, I will be able to walk," Olaivar said. "They say I'll be normal. I don't know how normal."
She also suffers from a bruised chest and lacks strength to hold herself up.
"I'm just trying to heal and get over it," Olaivar said. "It just shouldn't have happened."
Olaivar, who works at the front desk at the Ala Moana Hotel, said friends and family have been helping out with her kids, and she hopes her ex-husband also will lend a hand. She worries about her two children, who have visited her.
When the older one heard the news, she "kind of took it hard." she said. "When she came, she just looked shocked."
"My family has been supporting me a lot, although they have their own problems," she said. "What a holiday."
Olaivar had been out with friends the night of the accident and was heading to her Waipahu home.
The only recollection she has of the accident is changing lanes and seeing "two lights blinking at me -- and that's it. When I woke up, I just looked up and saw my friend, Cathy."
Her friend had taken the Likelike cutoff, heard the crash and returned to see whether she was OK.
"At first I was in shock," she said. "When they were pulling me out, I could hear my bones cracking.
"All I know was that I was in pain," she said. "They did a good job."
She said is grateful for the firefighters, paramedics and all who assisted her.