Condolences Offered for Lānaʻi Plane Crash Victims
By Wendy Osher
Lt. Governor Tsutsui offered his condolences today to the family and friends of the victims of last month’s deadly plane crash on Lānaʻi.
The statement comes ahead of a service and gathering planned this weekend honoring Tremaine Balberdi, 52 of Kahului, and Kathleen Kern, 50, of Kīhei, who died in the Feb. 26 crash.
Both were employees with the Maui Planning Department–Balberdi, as a secretary to the boards and commission, and Kern as a planner.
Richard Rooney, 66, of Pāʻia, was operating the plane, and also died in the crash.
“My heartfelt condolences go out to the family and friends of Kathleen Kern, Tremaine Balberdi and Richard Rooney. Each served the people of Maui County with dedication and passion,” said Tsutsui.
The three people who survived the crash included: James Giroux, 43, of Haʻikū, a deputy with Corporation Counsel for the County of Maui; Douglas Miller, 57, of Kahului, a planner IV for the Maui Planning Department; and Mark King, 43, of Kīhei, a geographical information systems analyst V for Maui.
“This tragedy has affected and saddened our small, tight-knit community. I continue to keep everyone who has been touched by this incident in our thoughts and I pray for the speedy recovery of the survivors, Douglas Miller, Mark King and James Giroux. ”
A preliminary report released by the National Transportation Safety Board says “the main wreckage was mostly consumed by post-impact fire.”
Authorities say the wreckage was recovered and brought to a secure location for further investigation.
Peter Knudson, NTSB spokesperson, told Maui Now that the investigation timeline for an accident of this nature generally runs around 12 months before a final report is released.