Driver in triple-fatal crash had 6 tickets for speeding


POSTED: Saturday, February 28, 2009

James Krzywonski, the driver of a car that smashed into the Wilson Tunnel entrance yesterday, killing three, loved physical activities and would often “;push the limits,”; his brother Mike Krzywonski said.

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“;He had a taste for adventure,”; said Krzywonski. “;He was always extreme in whatever he pursued.

“;Whatever outdoor activity it was, he would always push the limits a little bit,”; he said.

James Krzywonski, 30, Keone Cardenas, 25, and Amelia “;Amaya”; Albertsen, 22, were identified as the three victims of the high-speed, single-car crash on Likelike Highway.

Krzywonski had a traffic history that included six speeding violations from May 2001 to March 2007, according to court records. The fines for those citations totaled hundreds of dollars.

Krzywonski and Cardenas worked together at Haleiwa Joe's in Kaneohe for years, said restaurant senior managing partner Tim York. “;Two fantastic, responsible, great guys, full of life,”; York said.

York said the pair was returning from a birthday party in town when the accident occurred. The party was attended by several members of his staff. One of the restaurant's hostesses was following Krzywonski's vehicle and called police and York.

“;She had no idea it was even them,”; York said. “;The car was so smashed.”;

Police said Krzywonski's 2001 Audi Coupe was traveling toward Kaneohe at about 3:50 a.m. at a speed they estimated to be more than 100 mph.

Police said the driver lost control of the vehicle just before the entrance to the Wilson Tunnel, struck the right concrete embankment, went airborne and crashed into the wall on the right side of the entrance to the tunnel.

Cardenas was sitting in the front passenger seat and Albertsen was sitting in the back seat, police said.

Police are still investigating whether alcohol was involved in the crash. York said that when he spoke with his staff members who had gone to the party, they were sober, and that it would “;very much surprise”; him to hear that Krzywonski had been drinking.

Krzywonski had worked at the restaurant as server and manager for the past nine years, while Cardenas worked there for almost two years.

Krzywonski was a hard worker who loved water sports, skating and boating and was a close friend of York's. Cardenas often played tennis with Krzywonski and played guitar in a reggae band.

Mike Krzywonski, 37, called the accident avoidable.

“;It was just an act of reckless behavior, being that it was a single-car accident and speed was the main factor. That is just an unfortunate act of irresponsible behavior on his part,”; he said.

James Krzywonski grew up in the small town of Laguna Vista, Texas, and moved to Hawaii in about 2001, following his older brother and sister.

On his MySpace account, Krzywonski posted photos of himself surfing, skateboarding, swimming with sharks, flying, traveling to Indonesia and Japan, and dirt biking. In September 2007 he wrote about falling off a dirt bike and breaking a rib.

“;They made me sit up to take an exray (sic), but I passed out from the pain and had a seizure,”; he wrote. “;My sister was in the room and she said my eyes rolled back and I started moaning. When I woke up I thought I died and came back to life.”;

Krzywonski's parents, Mike and Carol of Laguna Vista, Texas, will be coming to Hawaii. He is also survived by his sister, Susan Valle of Waialua.

Marc Albertsen last saw his daughter Monday, when he and his wife Marjorie were here on vacation. Amelia's father is a big Jimmy Buffett fan, and his daughter said they just “;had to go”; to his new restaurant in Waikiki.

“;We hugged each other, and she went bounding away the way she does, and she had to study for exams,”; Marc Albertsen said from his Iowa home. “;Two days later, I find out my daughter is dead.”;

Amelia Albertsen was a 4.0 student going for her doctorate degree in clinical psychology at Argosy University in Honolulu. She moved here in August.

Amelia Albertsen is also survived by her mother Nancy Jane Acosta and her sister Joanne Albertsen.

Her father said he hoped to see what kind of woman his daughter would grow up to be — that in 20 years, it was going to be “;fun to see.”; He said he will visit Oahu within days to piece together the circumstances of the accident, and how she came to know Krzywonski and others.

“;For anybody to be taken away in this way is just a senseless act,”; he said. “;I don't know how we ever can get back to normal. We can't. We'll just have to be redefined. And that redefinition will not include Amy.”;



Star-Bulletin reporter Ken Kobayashi contributed to this report.