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Three Young Men Die in Waihee Single Car Car Crash

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A Maui family struggles to cope with the triple loss of two brothers and their cousin accoirding to a report from the Star Bulletin by Wendy Osher on 07 October 2009.


The two brothers and their cousin died when their car crashed against a tree and rolled over in Waihee on September 30th. They will be buried side by side this weekend at a small cemetery in Keanae, Maui.

COURTESY KANA AND NATHAM FAMILIES

Tyson Latham, left, his cousin Na’ilima Kana, in front of him, and Na’ilima’s brother Jared Kalamaku Kana were great young men with promising lives and many loving friends and family. Na’ilima, the driver, died at the scene; his brother and cousin died within a few days.

According to the Star Bulletin story, their families say that although they lived in Central Maui, they remained rooted in their Hawaiian culture and their ancestral ties to the rural taro farming community of Keanae in East Maui.

"For our family it is devastating," said cousin Oralani Koa. "The hardest part is they are all so young, they were all good boys, they were all raised right and they were all very respectful. And all three never really knew the impact they had on so many people," she said.

The young men had gone out to dinner Wednesday night at the Asian Cuisine restaurant in Kahului, where they often went for discount sushi. On their way home to the Kana residence in Waihee, their vehicle swerved out of control and overturned, coming to rest against a tree on Kahekili Highway. The accident occurred shortly after 10:30 p.m., just one driveway away from their intended destination. None was wearing a seat belt, according to police.

"Passing that spot every day is a constant reminder of their loss," said Latham’s aunt Liliana Koa. "It’s still very hard for the family to talk about."

Although police think that speed was a factor in the crash the boys were responsible and not reckless. The testimonials show that Maui has suffered a tragic loss:

"They wouldn’t drive recklessly or crazy," said Ashley Rosa, Latham’s cousin and classmate. "It shocks me that it happened. I’ve always trusted them and never felt like my life was in danger when I was with them."

The two older boys "were like two peas in a pod," said Veralyn "Sissy" Frame of her son Tyson and his cousin Na’ilima. "They fought yet they loved and agreed to disagree because they were alike in so many ways."

"They were always trying to get the last word in," said Rosa. "If Tyson said, ‘Oh, my God,’ Na’ilima would come back and say, ‘My God,’ too."

They were also both conscientious and caring when it came to family, Rosa said. "They wouldn’t just drop me off. They would get out of their car and walk me to the front door to make sure I was safely inside before leaving," she added.

"They never knew that by doing those kinds of things, they would touch so many people," said Koa.

Na’ilima Kana, who was driving the car, a 2004 Mazda sedan, died at the scene. He was a Kamehameha Schools Maui graduate and worked as an editor at AKAKU: Maui Community Television.

Jay April, AKAKU president and chief executive officer, called him "a bright light" with a "winning smile and dancing eyes."

"We always appreciated his soft, gentle reminders on how to pronounce Hawaiian words correctly, and his enormous talent as an editor of our Maui Daily program far exceeded his years," April said on the station’s Web site.

"He was very responsible, always on time, very akamai (smart), independent, organized and a very good father," said Leinani Kana, Na’ilima’s mother.

Na’ilima is survived by a 1-year-old daughter, Kahali’aoku’uhaola Emma Kana-Yarborough, who celebrated her birthday just one week before the accident. Her first name is translated as "the remembrance of my everlasting breath."

Na’ilima’s younger brother, Kalamaku, who was in the back seat, survived four days in critical condition before dying on Sunday.

"Kalamaku was a simple person who didn’t ask for much and was content with what he had," said his mom.

From working the taro patches to playing his acoustic bass guitar and strategizing at card games, Kalamaku was a hands-on person with a good sense of humor, his family says.

"From the bottom up, he helped build our home," said his father, Jacob Kana. "That’s why it’s so hard, because he’s everywhere."

The Kana brothers had gone to Hawaiian immersion school through the eighth grade, but Kalamaku continued the cultural program through high school and was expected to graduate in the spring as one of 10 members of the 10th Kula Kaiapuni o Maui graduating class at King Kekaulike High School.

Since Wednesday, friends and family have been visiting the hospital and the homes of the two families, offering support and comfort. "They cook for us, pray for us; without them we cannot go through this," said Latham.

Tyson Latham is also survived by older sister Jana Frame of Hana and grandparents Ora Souza Latham and Verlin "Bill" and Kiele Ka’auamo Frame.

Services for the Kana brothers and Latham will be held Friday at St. Anthony Church in Wailuku. Visitation is from 3 to 9 p.m. with a service at 6:30 p.m. A separate viewing will be held from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday at the Camp Keanae YMCA gym, with burial to follow at St. Gabriel Church cemetery in Keanae.

3 Comments

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  1. Kaulakua says:
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    They where great friends; Tyson was always there when I needed him…the world has lost three of the best people ever.

  2. Kaulakua says:
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    They where great friends; Tyson was always there when I needed him…the world has lost three of the best people ever.

  3. Kaulakua says:
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    They where great friends; Tyson was always there when I needed him…the world has lost three of the best people ever.