comscore Baby survives fatal Big Island traffic accident | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Top News

Baby survives fatal Big Island traffic accident

  • COURTESY CHRISTINA FLORES

    Crystal Mercado-Lopez

The crash that took Hilo resident Christina Lopez Flores’ only daughter is essentially giving her another.

Thirty-two-year-old Crystal Marie Mercado-Lopez was killed Friday in a traffic collision in Volcano on Hawaii island, but her 8-month-old daughter, Kilikina, survived.

“The baby is OK,” Flores said today. “No injuries. They took X-rays. She’s doing real fine. I called again this morning. She’s eating. She’s doing OK.”

Lopez Flores, 58, said Child Welfare Services contacted her and told her they would release the child to her on Monday.

She plans to take custody of her granddaughter and raise her as her own. Lopez Flores will also take care of Mercado-Lopez’s 12-year-old son, Christian.

Hawaii County police said Mercado-Lopez was driving a small sedan on Highway 11 when it was struck by a truck. The infant was in a car seat at the time of the collision and taken to a local hospital.

The driver of the truck was uninjured. Police are continuing their investigation into the accident to determine the cause.

After the accident, Lopez Flores said, authorities were unable to immediately reach her because she was in town.

“They closed the roads, and I didn’t think it was her,” she said. “When we got home I found out it was her.”

She added, “She’s my only daughter. I have three boys.”

“It’s a very sad situation,” said Chandra Olivera, a cashier at the Keaau Shell Food Mart who worked with Mercado-Lopez until she left a few months ago.“The cutest baby ever, promise to God. … Every time she came in, I had to hold her.”

“Hopefully, Crystal’s mom gets the baby,” she said. “I think that’s the best.”

Olivera said of her: “I thought she was a fun person, a good-hearted person.

“We’re going to miss her,” she said, her voice breaking with emotion.

Click here to see our full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. Submit your coronavirus news tip.

Be the first to know
Get web push notifications from Star-Advertiser when the next breaking story happens — it's FREE! You just need a supported web browser.
Subscribe for this feature
Comments (3)

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Terms of Service. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. Report comments if you believe they do not follow our guidelines.

Having trouble with comments? Learn more here.

Leave a Reply

  • The other driver’s insurance carrier. If the driver wasn’t insured, then file a civil lawsuit against the other driver.”Mercado-Lopez was driving a small sedan on Highway 11 when it was struck by a truck” sounds like the other driver was at fault. Look pal, I’m just reacting to what information is available in the article. Chill out, Mr. Defense Attorney. I nearly lost my life to a non-insured inattentive driver24 years ago, so I know what can be done. This is no fender bender. BYE.

Scroll Up