Kailua community offers prayers, support for teens hurt, killed in Pali Crash

Published On: May 06 2013 06:33:13 PM HST   Updated On: May 07 2013 12:42:39 PM HST

At Kailua Intermediate School, there were signs of hope with prayers for 14-year-old Denay Garcia.

She was critically hurt in a dramatic crash on the Pali Highway Sunday morning.

On Monday, her friends were devastated by the news.

"We would all go up to the street and play basketball. She was fun and really nice," said one friend.

Denay's friend, 13-year-old Kamalani Kalama, was killed in that crash.

Pictures flowed through Facebook of the vibrant teen who was loved by so many.

Her family posted a new page in memory of the daughter and the little sister lost too soon.

Denay's 33-year-old father Mark Garcia was behind the wheel early Sunday morning.

Police say he lost control of his Chevy truck, which then launched into a tree across the highway.

PHOTOS: Friends remember Kailua residents lost in crash

Click here for pictures of those involved in the crash.

It was an image lost on neighbors who were fond of the family from California who wanted to make Hawaii its home.

The Garcias moved to this Kailua neighborhood about two years ago.

Neighbors said they had a bit of a tough time adjusting at first, but learned to love the islands.

They say Garcia was busy building his car-care supplies business.

And even though the family struggled financially at times, they said Garcia was always willing to lend others a hand.

"Overall he was just a really nice guy. He was a fun person to be around," said neighbor and friend Ken Takeya.

Police believe Garcia was speeding at the time and are investigating other possible factors, while loved ones try to cope with a heartbreak so hard to grasp.

"I can't believe that something so horrible could happen," said Denay's friend.

Kamalani's exhausted family said it's just trying to cope with what happened, but are grateful for all of the support.

We also talked with other friends who said they held a special ceremony for her and Denay at school on Monday, listened to their favorite songs, and offered their prayers.

The following is the Garcia family statement:

"The Garcia family wishes to thank everyone for their condolences and prayers at this difficult time. Our daughter is recovering and resting comfortably at The Queen's Medical Center. The Garcia family also extends its deepest condolences to the ohanas who are involved.  While the Garcias appreciate all the well wishes for our family, we respectfully request privacy at this time."


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