Driver in Fatal Maui Crash Had Previous DUI Conviction
By Wendy Osher
The 21-year-old Pukalani man that was driving a vehicle involved in a deadly traffic accident over the weekend that claimed the lives of five young passengers, had a DUI conviction last year, according to court records.
Court records indicate the man had his license revoked in July of 2011 for operating a vehicle while under the influence.
The revocation was issued after the man failed to appear in Lahaina District Court for the proceeding according to court documents.
The driver also has two speeding citations on record: one in January 2011, and another in July 2010. Each resulted in fines of $177.
Maui Police did not release the man’s name, but others identified the man in previous reports as Libert “Fiji” Qalivere, and described him as a responsible person.
In an interview earlier this week, friend, Wylan Myers described the driver as sober, but tired. “That guy took maybe one beer the entire night; and the only thing is, strictly I feel, they were just tired–they were all tired,” he said.
The group had come from an overnight get-together at a beach in Kaupo and were headed north on the highway when the accident occurred.
Police say they suspect speed and alcohol as factors in the Sunday morning crash in Kula, but have yet to release a final report from the traffic investigation.
Lt. David Silva, with the Maui Police Department’s Traffic Section said a final report is due out in 4-6 weeks because of the complexity of the case and the amount of people involved. Toxicology reports, he said, would likely take 6-8 weeks to process.
Once the reports are compiled, they will be sent to the Prosecutor’s office for review, said Lt. Silva.
The driver had not been charged in connection with the accident at last report.
A Town Hall meeting takes place tonight at King Kekaulike High School, focused on underage drinking prevention. County officials say attendees will have a chance to speak openly about their concerns among their peers and family members, as well as participate in group break out sessions. The meeting runs from 6 to 8 p.m. at the school cafeteria.
The head-on collision was the second multiple-fatal accident on Maui County roads in just one week, and the 10th fatality this year.
A total of five people died in the March 25 crash on the Kula Highway including: Remington Taylor Redwell, 20 of Lahaina; Steven R. Shaw, 20 of Lahaina; Annastachia Cruz-Kalua, 19 of Pukalani; Ambrose Momoa, 20 of Waiehu; and Karl Barrack, 20, of Pukalani.
Motorcyclists, Abel Ventura Jr., 58, and Marlene Debnam, 56, both of Maui, died at the scene of a separate eight-vehicle collision on North Kihei Road on March 18, 2012.