A bittersweet Thanksgiving for family of Ewa Beach girl

By Nana Ohkawa
Published On: Nov 22 2012 06:52:13 PM HST
Updated On: Nov 23 2012 08:35:50 AM HST

Family of Ewa Beach crash victim dines, remembers their loved one.

EWA BEACH, Hawaii -

It's a bittersweet Thanksgiving for the family of 14 year-old Kawehi Adkins-Kupukaa. The Campbell High School sophomore was killed on Tuesday following a horrific crash in Ewa Beach on Tuesday.

Their holiday dinner was spent at the crash site that took their loved one's life. While the family is still mourning their loss, the teen's mother is trying her best to stay positive.

"I actually feel happy, I do feel happy; this is happy cries, just to have family around," said Kawehi's mother Janelle.

Today's meal started with a prayer for Kawehi. She was killed when a classmate driving a GMC Envoy crashed into two cars and a utility pole.

"It's three days later; still shocked," said her Aunt Sharlene Kupukaa.

As tears streamed down their faces, family members embraced each other for support. Instead of cancelling their holiday gathering, the family knew Kawehi would want them to spend Thanksgiving together.

"She's around here in spirit that's why we still continue this Thanksgiving for her because she wouldn't want this to be stopped," said her mother.

But the silence makes it clear that it is a Thanksgiving without her.

"If everyone know Kawehi, she can talk and talk and talk," said Janelle. 

Her mom wanted to make sure she felt included today by serving her favorite, Auntie Pauline's lau lau. But the growing memorial is a reminder to her family that there is a big part of them missing today.

"It's hard, it's really hard, but we are happy. We want her to be happy," said Sharlene.

At last check, the 16-year-old driver, Brandon Harris, is still in the hospital in critical condition.

Kawehi's boyfriend, who was also in the car, is back home along with the woman driving the car that was hit.

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