Makapuu crash kills 2


POSTED: Monday, October 19, 2009

A Waimanalo father of two and his brother died yesterday in a single-car crash in East Oahu that is believed to have been caused by speeding.

The driver was identified as 20-year-old Benjamin Makekau of Waimanalo, and the passenger as 19-year-old Ikaikakane Makekau of Kona.

Police said Benjamin Makekau lost control while driving toward Makapuu from Waimanalo and veered off the mauka shoulder near the Makapuu Lighthouse at about 2 a.m. The car launched off an embankment, flipped and crashed into a building at the Oceanic Institute.

Neither man was wearing a seat belt, and both died at the scene, police said.

Police said the driver may have been racing an unknown vehicle just before the crash, and asked anyone with information about the crash to call 911.

Kalanianaole Highway near Makapuu Lighthouse was closed for about five hours as officers investigated the crash.

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Tony Chun, the brothers' uncle, said their mother is devastated and never got to see her son Ikaikakane after he arrived from the Big Island Saturday night.

Ikaikakane Makekau, a carpenter and the fourth of seven children, had flown in from Hilo to watch his younger sister perform hula yesterday at the Waimanalo Country Fair, Chun said.

Makekau, who had two toddler boys with his girlfriend, had been recovering from a paralyzing accident about two years ago.

Chun said Benjamin Makekau could not walk after he was injured while jumping off the Wall in Waikiki.

“;Miraculously, with the rehabilitation, he had gotten so much better,”; he said.

Family members said they hoped Makekau would become a successful artist because of his talent for sketch-making.

“;There was great hope for them,”; Chun said. “;(Benjamin) was a really good artist, and we were hoping he'd pursue that.”;

A small memorial with flowers, messages to the brothers and beer bottles was left near the crash site.

Roxanne Hanawahine, the men's great-aunt, visited the memorial with her daughter. “;He was a strong kid,”; Hanawahine said of Benjamin. “;He was an independent person. He was a really good dad.”;

The family is setting up a fund to raise money for funeral expenses. Donations can be made by calling Tony Chun at 386-4110.