A Kona Grand Jury Tuesday handed down a seven-count indictment in connection with a November crash that took the life of a Kona woman and injured three children.
Nicholas Abarcar was indicted on manslaughter, second-degree negligent homicide, two counts first-degree negligent injury, second-degree negligent injury and operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant, according to Judiciary records.
On Nov. 10, 2019, Abarcar was operating a black 2017 Jeep Renegade SUV and headed southbound on Queen Kaahumanu Highway when he passed a vehicle in a passing zone and collided head-on with a northbound gray 2015 Honda Pilot SUV about a quarter-mile north of mile marker 90, according to the Hawaii Police Department. The crash was reported at 2:10 p.m. north of the entrance to Ke Kahakai State Park in a 55-mph zone.
The crash killed the Honda’s driver, 35-year-old Cassandra “Cassie” Lynn Ellis, of Kailua-Kona, and sent her three passengers, identified as Taylor Campogan, and her friend, Kawena Haserot, both age 15 at the time of the crash, and one 10-year-old girl, to Kona Community Hospital. Campogan and the 10-year-old were Ellis’s daughters.
Ellis and the girls were headed to Kua Bay for a day at the beach.
The two 15-year-old girls suffered severe injuries in the wreck and were initially transported to Kona Community Hospital, but later flown to The Queen’s Medical Center on Oahu for treatment.
According to court records, Abarcar pleaded no contest to DUI, having a blood alcohol content over 0.08%, back on May 15, 2018. The now-25-year-old had been arrested and charged with DUI and driving without a license following a traffic stop on Aug. 22, 2017.
He was found guilty and sentenced to pay $312 in fines and fees, $350 in restitution and complete driver’s education and a substance abuse rehabilitation program. His license was also revoked from Sept. 22, 2017, through Sept. 21, 2018.