A woman who was driving a vehicle when it plunged off a Maui cliff is charged with second-degree murder in the death of her twin, who was in the passenger’s seat.
Prosecutors say Alexandria Duval, who is also known as Alison Dadow, intentionally caused the death of her identical twin sister, Anastasia Duval, also known as Ann Dadow.
The 37-year-old sisters were in a Ford Explorer traveling south on Hana Highway when they crashed into a rock wall last week, plunging about 200 feet onto a rocky shoreline, police said.
Anastasia Duval was pronounced dead at the scene. Her sister was taken to a hospital in critical condition.
Witnesses saw the two women arguing while the vehicle was stopped and said the passenger was pulling the driver’s hair, Maui Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Emlyn Higa said. Then they saw the vehicle “accelerate forward and then take a sharp left over the cliff,” he said.
One of the witnesses said the driver appeared to be in a rage before the vehicle went over the cliff, according to probable cause documents filed in court.
The vehicle’s air-bag control module showed that the driver didn’t attempt to brake before accelerating, making a hard left and hitting the wall, the documents said.
Hana resident Margie Aumaier said she was surprised anyone survived the crash after seeing that the vehicle landed on its side. Emergency workers used her yard as a helicopter landing zone for the complicated rescue, she said.
After being extricated from the vehicle, the driver didn’t want to give officers any information and only identified herself as “Alex,” the document said.
Alexandria Duval was arrested Friday at the Seaside Hotel.
“We had information after she was discharged from the hospital she attempted to fly out of the jurisdiction Wednesday night,” Higa said. She wasn’t able to leave Wednesday and had flight arrangements to fly to the West Coast Friday night, prompting police to arrest her, according to the court documents.
“All we know is she was trying to leave the state,” Higa said. “We were afraid she would try to leave the country as well.”
She appeared in court today with her arm in a sling, said her defense attorney, Todd Eddins. A judge ordered that she continue to be held without bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.
“Alison did not try to harm herself or the person she most loved and was closest to in the world,” Eddins said after the hearing, calling the situation a “heart-shattering” tragedy for the sisters’ family.
Eddins said the family still refers to the sisters by their given names.
It’s not clear when the twins changed their names, Higa said. Their Hawaii driver’s licenses are in their new names, bearing the same Haiku address, he said.
They’re originally from Florida, where they ran a successful yoga business, and moved to Hawaii in December from Utah, Eddins said.
“They were in the process of building a business plan and were aspiring to open up studios here,” he said. “They had an extremely close bond.”
The sisters, who were born in Utica, N.Y., opened their first Twin Power Yoga studio in Palm Beach Gardens in 2008. The studio attracted a strong following, leading to a second location in West Palm Beach three years later.
But they abruptly closed their yoga studios in 2014, leaving behind debts and unpaid employees.
The sisters reappeared in Park City, Utah, where they opened another yoga studio and got into financial trouble again.
In 2014, both sisters filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection, citing hundreds of thousands of dollars in of debt.
Court records show that Ann Dadow was arrested for public intoxication, disorderly conduct, assault on a police officer, and interference with an arrest relating to a March 19, 2014, incident. Her previous criminal record includes convictions in Florida for disorderly intoxication, battery and resisting arrest, and arrests for misdemeanor offenses in North Carolina.
Alison Dadow’s criminal record in Utah includes arrests on suspicion of driving under the influence, fleeing the scene of an accident, driving without proof of insurance, public intoxication and disorderly conduct. She was previously arrested in Florida for allegedly defrauding an innkeeper and other unspecified offenses.
Star-Advertiser staff contributed to this story.