KOLOA — A Lawa‘i man was arrested in connection with a traffic crash that claimed the life of a Kalaheo resident on Friday evening.
Keola DeCosta, 42, was taken into custody on charges of negligent homicide in the first degree, negligent injury in the first degree, operating a motor vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant, resisting arrest, accident involving death, reckless driving and inattention to driving, the Kaua‘i Police Department (KPD) said.
He was later released pending further investigation of the incident, which was the first fatal traffic crash of the year.
According to details of a preliminary investigation, a 2023 Tacoma pickup was traveling westbound on Po‘ipu Road fronting the Kiahuna Shopping Center at approximately 9:30 p.m. on Friday. The Tacoma then rear-ended a 2014 Hyundai Accent which resulted in both vehicles leaving the roadway.
Details released by the police department state when medics and police arrived at the scene, both vehicles were in the bushes off the westbound road shoulder.
DeCosta, the driver of the Tacoma, was not injured in the accident. The 69-year-old male driver of the Hyundai, whose name was not released, suffered fatal injuries.
A passenger in the Hyundai, identified as a 25-year-old woman from Kalaheo, suffered serious injuries. She has since been taken to the Queen’s Medical Center on O‘ahu. She was listed in stable condition.
During the on-scene investigation by the KPD’s Traffic Safety Section, Po‘ipu Road was closed in both directions for approximately three hours. Speed and alcohol appear to be factors in the crash.
KPD is asking anyone who may have witnessed the crash to call 808-241-1616.
Witnesses wishing to remain anonymous can provide information by calling Crime Stoppers Kaua‘i at 808-246-8300 or at cskauai.org.
Source: The Garden Island