Press "Enter" to skip to content

Man serving time for fatal crash could be eligible for parole in 2022

The Hawaii Paroling Authority has set a minimum term for a 26-year-old Waimea man who was sentenced to serve a half-decade behind bars for a 2019 crash that claimed the life of a mother of four and injured three girls.

Nicholas Abarcar was sentenced by Kona Circuit Court Judge Robert D.S. Kim to serve five years for second-degree negligent homicide and concurrent one-year sentences for three counts of second-degree negligent injury in connection with the Nov. 10, 2019, crash that killed 35-year-old Cassandra “Cassie” Lynn Ellis, of Kailua-Kona, and injured her three minor passengers.

Abarcar, who was sentenced in May, could be eligible for parole on May 14, 2022, less than a year after his incarceration.

Abarcar had faced charges of manslaughter, second-degree negligent homicide, two counts first-degree negligent injury, second-degree negligent injury and operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant in connection with the crash. A plea deal meted with prosecutors resulted in the four of the seven charges being dropped.

At his sentencing, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Kauanoe Jackson said Abarcar was trying to connect his phone to his car speaker when he drifted into oncoming northbound traffic and collided with Ellis’s vehicle, north of the entrance to Kekaha Kai State Park. Ellis and the three girls were headed to Kua Bay for the day.

“This is nothing less than a tragedy. He had a choice,” Jackson said, indicating that intoxication was not a factor in the crash, although it was originally listed as a charge in the August 2020 indictment.

“It was distracted driving. Nick is devastated,” Abarcar’s defense attorney, Jason Kwiat said at the sentencing hearing. “He is devastated he caused so much pain because he wanted to hook up his phone to the radio.”

After sentencing, Ellis’s father, Jim Ellis, expressed his dismay of the justice system.

“I am very disappointed at the charges being lowered,” he said. “I didn’t agree with that. It has been quite an education, but we had no choice in the matter.”
Source: Hawaii Tribune Herald

Be First to Comment

    Leave a Reply