Lawa’i Man Arrested in Fatal Crash, Kalaheo Resident Killed

A tragic incident occurred in Koloa, where a Lawa’i man was arrested in connection with a traffic crash that resulted in the death of a Kalaheo resident. The incident took place on Friday evening and has shocked the local community.

The man responsible for the crash, identified as Keola DeCosta, 42, was taken into custody by the Kaua’i Police Department (KPD) on several charges, including negligent homicide, negligent injury, driving under the influence, resisting arrest, and reckless driving. DeCosta was later released pending further investigation of the incident.

According to the preliminary investigation, the crash happened on Po’ipu Road in front of the Kiahuna Shopping Center at around 9:30 p.m. A 2023 Tacoma pickup was traveling westbound when it rear-ended a 2014 Hyundai Accent, causing both vehicles to veer off the road and into the bushes.

When emergency services arrived at the scene, they found both vehicles off the road. Tragically, the 69-year-old male driver of the Hyundai sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced dead. A 25-year-old woman from Kalaheo, who was a passenger in the Hyundai, suffered serious injuries and was transported to Queen’s Medical Center on O’ahu. Thankfully, she is now in stable condition.

The KPD’s Traffic Safety Section conducted an on-scene investigation, which resulted in the closure of Po’ipu Road in both directions for approximately three hours. Speed and alcohol are believed to be contributing factors to the crash.

Authorities are urging anyone who may have witnessed the incident to come forward and provide information to assist with the investigation. Witnesses can contact the Kaua’i Police Department at 808-241-1616. For those who wish to remain anonymous, information can be provided to Crime Stoppers Kaua’i at 808-246-8300 or through their website

This devastating incident serves as a reminder of the importance of responsible and sober driving. The community mourns the loss of a fellow resident and hopes for a swift and thorough investigation to bring justice to the victim and their family.

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