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'I just can't believe he's gone'


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POSTED: Friday, November 20, 2009

Married only three days, 43-year-old Michael Allen Borges was driving home on Pali Highway with his new bride, Fran, when a car cut in front of them.

“;She (Fran) remembers Michael being cut off, him losing control and slamming into the wall,”; said Borges' sister, Tricia Miyashiro, 39.

Miyashiro said Fran told her, “;He was pushed into my lap, and I was holding him and now I just can't believe he's gone.”;

Fran Borges, 50, was undergoing surgery last night to repair a hip injured in Wednesday's accident. Four women were injured in two separate car crashes, which witnesses said were caused by another speeding driver.

Michael Borges lost control of his 2008 Honda Civic, hit the median and ran into a rock wall at Coelho Way and Pali Highway at about 7 p.m. His wife was taken to the Queen's Medical Center in serious condition.

A second crash occurred when a 22-year-old Waimanalo woman lost control of her 2006 Chevrolet Equinox van and hit a curb, then a guardrail under the Wyllie Street overpass.

The driver and two female passengers were taken to Queen's in serious condition. At least one of the occupants, Temukisa Moenoa, was released from the hospital, according to hospital spokeswoman Makana Shook. No information was available on the two other women.

All occupants in both vehicles were wearing seat belts. Airbags in both vehicles deployed.

Witnesses said the speeding driver caused the van to crash into the guardrail and caused a truck to drive off the road and into the grassy median on the left.

Police are investigating whether the crashes are related. They said both drivers who crashed were speeding.

The accident weighs heavily on Borges' 14-year-old son, (Michael Allen) Kekoa Borges, who was supposed to catch the bus home from his dad's Nuuanu Avenue home to Kailua, where he lives with his grandmother Bernadette Borges and brother Deven, 11.

Kekoa caught the bus to his father's home to pick up a cell phone he was giving him.

The two were having a talk, then it was time for him to go home.

“;He told me to catch the bus, but I was too lazy to,”; Kekoa said.

Kekoa said his dad drove him home. Before leaving, his dad said, “;Make sure you stay on top of your grades. You can do it.”;

“;He called my name and he said, 'I love you.' I said, 'I love you too.' That's the last time I ever saw him alive.”;

Kekoa said he will remember his father for going to all his football games and always checking up on him and his younger brother.

Michael Borges' mother, Bernadette, 69, said her son, the eldest of her six children, had been so happy recently.

He had taken his first trip to Las Vegas with his family and his girlfriend of three years.

“;He was excited and so happy,”; said his mother. “;He surprised me and said, 'Mom, I'm getting married.'”;

He was still beaming with happiness when he got back.

He told his mother, “;I lost some, I won some and I had a good time.”;

Borges, a construction worker, was between jobs and had been laid off about five months ago from a job at the Marine base in Kaneohe.

“;He was good with his hands”; and always kept busy with handyman work for his landlord or family members, even stripping and waxing his mother's floors, his mother said.

Bernadette Borges, a former police dispatcher, said, “;When it's your own, it's something different. You always believe it won't be any of your family, your children. We'll really miss him, especially now that the holidays are coming.”;

Grief-stricken family members say they hope to learn what happened.

Police have opened a negligent-homicide case and are asking witnesses to call CrimeStoppers at 955-8300 or *CRIME on a cell phone. The medical examiner said yesterday that Borges died of blunt force trauma.

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Star-Bulletin reporter Rosemarie Bernardo contributed to this report.