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'Safest' driver's crash puzzles wife

By Rob Shikina

LAST UPDATED: 7:07 a.m. HST, Jul 20, 2011

Tim Leyes was a careful driver and devoted husband to an ailing wife, making his fatal crash heading the wrong way on H-2 freeway the more baffling for friends and family.

Two women were also injured in the Monday morning crash near Ka Uka Boulevard, including one, critically, after her SUV was hit head-on.

Leyes, 58, did not have alcohol or drugs in his system, preliminary tests showed, and he bled to death from chest injuries sustained in the crash, the Honolulu Medical Examiner's Office said Tuesday.

He worked as a security guard at a condominium in Waipio, sometimes from midnight, said his wife, Licka, by phone from a hospital, where she is recovering from open heart surgery. She didn't know where he was going the morning he crashed, but suspected he may have just finished work.

"My husband is one of the safest drivers," she said. "He drives everybody crazy."

"You ask all his friends how he drives, and it's like 45 miles all the way," she said.

When she would complain, he would say he didn't want to hurt anybody.

The night before the crash, Licka Leyes called him to say she was in pain, and he told her not to worry. Only later, she found out that he had called the nurse, asking for someone to check on her.

When Licka lost her sight about three years ago, Tim Leyes said he would be her eyes, legs and whatever else she needed. He cared for her during her battles with diabetes, kidney disease and high blood pressure.

He drove her to the hospital for dialysis three days a week to comfort her because he knew she didn't like needles, and visited her daily for the recent surgery.

Licka met Leyes through church after watching him play the guitar, and the couple married in 2006. They gave back to the community through their love of music. Once a month the couple went to Wahiawa General Hospital to play for long-term patients and also visited other care centers, such as an Alzheimer's patients home in Honolulu.

‘We tried to do as much as we can," Leyes said. "Tim was the one who really felt strongly about that."

She said he wanted to care for people however he could.

"He was just that good," she said. "It's a real loss for the community."

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