Traffic fatality is second for family within 9 days
The Hoohuli clan in Nanakuli had yet to bury one young woman killed in a car crash last week when her cousin shared the same fate early yesterday.
For Karina Hoohuli, 21, who died yesterday, it was the second traffic accident in 15 months.
Hoohuli, a 2004 Nanakuli High School graduate, had just returned to Heald College, where she was pursuing her goal of becoming an accountant. She had taken a year off to recuperate from an accident in September 2006, when she was ejected from a car on Waianae Valley Road and a tree branch went through the back of her neck and out her cheek.
"She was just getting better," said her mother, Noe Hoohuli. "She just started back in September or October."
Then, on Dec. 18, Karina's cousin Roelle Hoohuli, 22, died when her truck veered off the H-1 freeway just before the Ewa exit and rolled over several times.
The two were close, so Karina took the death hard, said her sister Janelle.
"She went to a little get-together with the family, and she didn't want to talk about the accident because it brought back memories of her first accident," Janelle said.
In yesterday's 1:48 a.m. crash, police said the white 2005 Chevy Malibu sedan, in which Hoohuli was seated in the front passenger seat, was speeding on Paakea Road near Apana Road in Maili.
The 23-year-old Nanakuli woman driving the car, Hoohuli's cousin, lost control when her car hit a large dip, police said.
Police said the car struck several large boulders off the road, overturned and severed a wooden utility pole. The Medical Examiner's Office said Hoohuli died of head injuries. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
The driver was taken to the Queen's Medical Center in serious condition but improved to guarded condition.
Police have not yet determined whether drugs or alcohol also played a role in the crash. This is the 68th traffic fatality of the year, compared with 90 at this time last year.
"Karina was like one of my friends," said her mother. "We could talk to each other."
She; her husband, Josiah Jr. "Joe"; and their remaining children, twins Janelle and Jasmine, 18, and son Kaimiola, 16, found it tough to deal with Karina's death yesterday morning.
"We have all our family and friends and neighbors, and it helps to have them all around," she said, recalling the jokes she told.
Noe Hoohuli said her daughter was "funny, friendly and had lots of aloha."
Janelle Hoohuli said she will remember her sister for her loud and infectious laugh.