Monday, April 16, 2001

Crashes haunt
North Shore road

Community leaders will
offer the city ideas to improve
dangerous Kaukonahua Road

By Rosemarie Bernardo

Several members of the North Shore Neighborhood Board agree that speed is a primary factor in the number of accidents that have recently occurred on Kaukonahua Road.

Since Feb. 21 there have been eight fatal traffic accidents along the road between Wahiawa and Waialua.

"There seems to be a complete disregard for safety," said Haleiwa resident and board member Jacob Ng.

On Thursday before 11:24 p.m., 18-year-old Brian Dade was traveling Waialua-bound on Kaukonahua Road with three passengers: Anthony Alexander, 17, Andrew Delos Reyes, 18, and Jeremy Tolentino, 17. Dade lost control of his grandmother's station wagon and struck a guardrail. The vehicle then was broadsided by a sedan operated by a 42-year-old Mililani man traveling Honolulu-bound. Dade survived the accident, but Delos Reyes and Alexander died at the scene.

Tolentino died en route to Wahiawa General Hospital. It is believed none of the passengers in the vehicle was wearing seat belts, police said. Police said speed was also a factor.

Dade and two people in the sedan, the Mililani man and his daughter, 11, have been released from the hospital. The man's wife, 40, remains in the hospital in fair condition.

With sharp curves lined with large trees and guardrails, Kaukonahua Road is one of the most dangerous in the state, said board member Alfredo Antonio.

Ng plans to present some suggestions to city officials at a 2 p.m. meeting Wednesday to help prevent further accidents along the long stretch of road.

One suggestion is to designate the entire road a no-passing zone, said Ng, noting that only 70 percent of Kaukonahua Road is a no-passing zone. "It will serve as a deterrent," Ng said. "People will reroute onto Kamehameha Highway, which is a much safer roadway."

Other alternatives include widening the two-lane road, rerouting large trucks to Kamehameha Highway and increasing police enforcement, he said.

Members have noted that most accidents occur during night and early morning hours.

"The way things are going now, you have to be a defensive driver," said Donald Keao, a Haleiwa resident and board member.

Antonio, 53, who learned of the triple fatality Friday morning from a co-worker, said he was shocked, adding that he is disappointed at drivers' irresponsibility. "It makes me mad. ... Why are these guys speeding?" he asked. "Trees and guardrails don't jump in the way of the vehicle."

Antonio, who regularly travels on Kaukonahua Road, added: "Who knows? Tomorrow, I might be a victim like those kids."

E-mail to City Desk

Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]

© 2001 Honolulu Star-Bulletin