Crash victims recall night of horror, death

(To call this a ‘favorite’ story needs some explaining. Mr. Miles’ reported comfort in Christ can be examined. The comments, some unforgiving, also can be discussed.)

By Robert Shikina


Samuel “Kamu” Miles, father of the 3-year-old boy who was killed in a two-car collision on Thursday, says he has let go of the anger and found peace.

“Christ brought a lot of peace to my heart,” he said yesterday. But he said he was still trying to heal from the pain.

“I look at my arm, all this … pain is nothing … compared to the pain I feel inside,” he said, wearing a white bandage on his elbow with scratches on his left temple.

On Thursday night, Waianae resident Sanford Valdez was speeding down Farrington Highway when he lost control of his pickup, hit a guard rail and then careened into Miles’ white Jetta before flipping onto a parked car, police said. Valdez was thrown from the truck and died at the scene.

A woman riding in his truck had minor injuries.

After checking out of the Queen’s Medical Center yesterday, Miles, 27, and his wife, Erica, 22, met with reporters in their yard at the Puu Kahea Baptist Conference Center in Waianae.

On the night of the accident, they recalled, they were returning home from school and had just picked up the children at a family member’s house.

Jhonnett Steverson, 37, the front seat passenger and a family friend, often rode to school at Remington College with the couple. She escaped without serious injuries.

Just before the crash, she heard a sound, looked to the left and saw the truck coming at them.

“He was airborne,” she said. “He was like flying to us in speed.”

She only had a moment to think that the truck was going to “land on us.”

“It was a very horrible scene, very horrible,” she said through tears. “He was reckless.”

Miles’ son was strapped into a child safety seat, held by the seat belt in the back seat. Erica sat between her son and their 1-year-old daughter.

Miles said he recalled seeing bright lights, tires screeching, and people screaming. In the confusion afterward, he heard everyone’s voice except that of his son, Koa Paka, and started asking bystanders if they’d seen him. A neighbor directed him to a boy on the ground.

“I held him in my arms. I was just telling him, ‘Come back to daddy, everything is going to be OK,'” said Miles, who wears Koa Paka’s name tattooed on his right tricep.

After Koa Paka took his last breath, he told him, “‘Daddy loves you.’ That’s when I felt like he went.”

Erica Miles, who wore a neck brace and had scratches on her face yesterday, said she was OK, but still had pain in her back.

Kamu Miles, a sergeant in the Army Reserve and a contractor at Pearl Harbor, was trying to recover from another loss two days before the accident when his father died of illness.


Best wishes
Mililani, HI

Im sorry this had to happen. I wish your family the best. Hold the family together and be strong.

Lawai, HI
My son turns 3 in July. I can’t even begin to understand the pain of losing your child. I’m glad that he can find peace through the Lord.

They will be united again where tears and pain will be no more. Our prayers go out to the Miles Ohana. Ke Akua pu.

E seven

Sad that this family has to go through this.Not to use this as a example,but people should not drink&drive.Speeding gets you nowhere fast!Valdez was an IDIOT,for doing what he did.My sympathies to the Miles family&even to the Valdez family(it’s not the family members who were driving,even though there has been some reporting saying Valdez left a family BBQ,so the family has some blame for not preventing Valdez from driving)for their lost. Stay STRONG,Miles family,my thoughts are with you.

United States
Such a heart wrenching & senseless tragedy. What does it take for everyone to learn that driving drunk is like playing Russian Roulette? If it were as simple as you idiots risking YOUR own life, then fine…one less selfish person in the world. But you aren’t the only ones on the road!!
This applies to State Senators as well by the way.
I’ve had friends tell me about their escapades & how they narrowly averted being pulled for a DWI. Silently I kinda wish they had been cited & arrested. Would do a lot better than sitting behind bars for involuntary manslaughter (or laying lifeless in a morgue).

One voice
United States»

Dear Family, I am so very sorry for your loss. My prayers are with you. God Bless your sweet little son.

No tears
Kaneohe, HI»
No tears for the worthless pile of skin that was the drunk driver. What a pitiful excuse for a human being!

I hope that the family can go on after suffering two losses in the same week. The husband seemed like a pretty strong guy when they showed the interview. A good guy, too.

Honolulu, HI»

Miles family, My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

kona boii
Redmond, WA»

my prayers are with you the Miles family. My sympathies goes to both the family. This is a very, very, very, very, sad even. I can imagine the pain you guys have. Loosing a precious thing is like a sword stapping through the heart. I’m very sorry for what happen to the boy.

Mrs P
Daytona Beach, FL»

Iam so very sorry to read of your tragedy. Know that KoaPaka is happy and safe with our Lord. Your family is in our prayers. Time will never lessen the pain, but it will allow you to focus on the happiness and laughter that your baby boy gave you. God bless all of you. Ua kaumaha au….

Von in Aiea
Hana, HI »

My love goes out to Samuel “Kamu” Miles, and his family.

I wish I could say more, but this is beyond words.


Honolulu Man
Honolulu, HI»

Mr. Samuel “Kamu” Miles and Family, Relative and Friends:

Please accept my condolence. Of course you will feel sad and at a great loss and also have other feelings but Christ will help to mend the broken hearts. Come together to help each other mend hearts.


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