NORTH KONA: The Big Island is grieving the loss of three young lives.
A car accident between a sedan and a pick-up truck early Saturday morning on Queen Ka’ahumanu Highway near Kailua Kona ended in a fiery crash. Three of the five people involved in the accident perished at the scene. The fire department said the 39-year old driver of the truck and a 17-year old girl survived.
An impromptu roadside memorial has now been built a couple yards north of Hina Lani St. on the makai side of the highway. A high school-aged boy sat facing the memorial on the shoulder of the busy road. He had tears in his eyes and talked quietly to himself. He said he was a friend. Burned asphalt and small plastic car parts were visible near the site. Three white ribbons with three names blew in the wind. Chalk-written messages expressed love and sorrow. A volleyball, stuffed animals, a tiara, balloons, flowers and photos made up the memorial. Two young men joined the third to pay their respects.
An online fund raiser has been set up in memory of Kaela Avanilla, one of the three teens killed in the crash. The “gofundme” page was set up by Keala’s aunt and all proceeds will go directly to cover funeral expenses.