Kaneohe man dies in car crash
A woman in another car is also hurt in the North Shore accident
A Friday-night crash on Kamehameha Highway near the North Shore ended the life of a young father and hospitalized a woman.
Relatives identified the man as Kyle Keola Kapono Newalu, 33, of Kaneohe.
At 6:52 p.m. Friday, Newalu was driving a gray 2000 Toyota pickup truck east on Kamehameha and tried to overtake another vehicle. He crossed the center line, continued onto a westward shoulder and veered back onto the highway, police said.
Newalu crashed head-on into a silver 2008 Chrysler 300 just east of Marconi Road. The Chrysler's driver, a 21-year-old North Shore woman, was taken to the Queen's Medical Center in critical condition, suffering broken arms and legs. Her condition improved and she is now in serious condition.
Nani Wilkins said her nephew, Newalu, worked as a baggage agent for Hawaiian Airlines for 13 years and was trying to take on a new job as a flight attendant.
He was accepted for training and was expecting to start classes tomorrow.
"He was looking forward to this," she said. "He knew what he had to do. He was going to step into new shoes."
Part of the requirement was to have a passport.
"The day he died, he received a passport," Wilkins said. "She (his mother) was trying to call him and tell him about it."
Wilkins said she also spoke with the parents of the injured woman and apologized over the phone.
Newalu had just celebrated his first anniversary in December and has a 7-month-old son, named after his father Keith, who died a decade ago on Newalu's birthday.
At the time of the accident, his wife Jessica was in San Diego with the infant, picking up her daughter. She returned to Honolulu yesterday.
Wilkins said her nephew was shy. "He was always loving," she said.
"Kapono was always there to help you, but he was quiet. Everybody liked him. They know he's quiet, but when you see him with his peers, he's himself, laughing and joking."
Survivors include his wife, son, stepdaughter Raven Leialoha Wood and mother Carnation Newalu.
Newalu was not wearing a seat belt and died at the scene. Police said speed was a factor.
Friday's crash was the fourth traffic fatality of this year, compared to one at the same time last year.