WAILUKU >> A Maui man will be prohibited from driving for the rest of his life as part of a plea deal in a crash that killed five of his friends and relatives.
Under a plea agreement reached with prosecutors, five counts of manslaughter against Libert Kuuipo Qalivere were reduced to first-degree negligent homicide. The 24-year-old from Pukalani pleaded no contest to the reduced charges Wednesday.
The 2012 crash on Kula Highway near Noholoa Street was the deadliest in more than two decades on Maui, Wailuku newspaper, The Maui News reported.
Qalivere’s blood-alcohol level was nearly twice the legal limit for driving when he drove the five passengers from a party, prosecutors said. He was driving a Dodge Neon erratically at more than 75 mph, prosecutors said.
All five passengers were ejected from the car after it collided with an oncoming car. They were Remington Taylor Redwell, 20, of Lahaina; Steven R. Shaw, 20, of Lahaina; Annastachia Cruz-Kalua, 19, of Pukalani; Ambrose “AJ” Momoa, 20, of Waiehu; and Karl Barrack, 20, of Pukalani.
Qalivere faces a maximum sentence of 51 years and 65 days in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for June 12.
“There’s no winners here,” said Shaw’s mother, Lorraine Smyth. “Taking his life away from him doesn’t bring back my son. I just know it’s between him and his heart.”
Flowers and native plants adorn a memorial that still exists near the crash site, she said.
“This is huge for the community,” she said. “It was a series of bad choices that ended very badly, and I think that it’s a reminder for anybody who gets in a car with a driver who’s intoxicated that this can happen.”