Driver who fled crash gets 10-year sentence

There are 20 comments on the Aug 7, 2008, Honolulu Star-Bulletin story titled Driver who fled crash gets 10-year sentence. In it, Honolulu Star-Bulletin reports that:

A state judge gave a 10-year prison sentence yesterday to a driver who caused a head-on collision that killed four people and injured eight others in 2006.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Honolulu Star-Bulletin.

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“Too small to notice”

Since: Jun 08

Kahuku , Ka'U

#1 Aug 7, 2008
Those painkillers sure seem to produce a lot of emotional pain. Doctors that give out these drugs should consider the whole emotional and life changing effects of painkillers.
peace

Honolulu, HI

#2 Aug 7, 2008
sad.
Pacheminou

Honolulu, HI

#3 Aug 7, 2008
I still can't believe that the state of Hawaii did not pass a law banning people riding in the bed of a pickup truck. It's so unsafe.
JT Peeps

Bellingham, WA

#4 Aug 7, 2008
When you look at a medication bottle with the words "May Cause Drowsiness" and "Do Not Operate Heavy Machinery", those are code words for do not drive. As some of us have come to realize an automobile is heavy machinery. Sometimes we consider the label on the bottle just jumbled words. As just suggestions on what to do. Not taken as directed and warned is fatal.
WTF

Salt Lake City, UT

#5 Aug 7, 2008
"One of the side effects is drowsiness. Still, no doctor ever told Szemkow not to drive, King said"
WTF???
A doctor has to TELL you not to drive if your meds has drowsiness as a side effect? That's the most lame a** EXCUSE ever!
Doncha Think So

Hilo, HI

#7 Aug 7, 2008
Contributing factos in this horrible incident:
Driving while taking pain medication.
Leaving scene of accident.
People riding in the back of a pickup truck.
Driving while white.
quit crying

Kuwait, Kuwait

#8 Aug 7, 2008
Doncha Think So wrote:
Contributing factos in this horrible incident:
Driving while taking pain medication.
Leaving scene of accident.
People riding in the back of a pickup truck.
Driving while white.
your last 2 lines are stupid.
nanakulimama

Honolulu, HI

#13 Aug 7, 2008
Oh my - 5 types of painkillers and he was still driving! Auwe to the doctor(s) who prescribed this medication and never told him not to drive. Of course, common sense should prevail. You take the meds, feel drowsy or disoriented the last thing you should do is get behind the wheel of any vehicle. And to not stop and at least offer some kind of aid. That's downright inhumane. But, 10 years for those people's lives! Well, he'll walk out of prison soon but his victims never will. Their families will have to live with this tragedy daily. God bless them all and hopefully he'll bring some kind of peace to them.
uhhuh

Honolulu, HI

#14 Aug 7, 2008
it is pretty clear that this guy never meant any of this to happen --- nonetheless, the accident was avoidable and the damage that it caused is immeasurable

I hope everyone involved can find peace --- and we can all learn to be more careful and more appreciative of those around us
Lolo head

Honolulu, HI

#15 Aug 7, 2008
what pissed off the judge was that the defendant left the scene of the accident and attempted to "run away" from what he instigated...10 years in the slammer for the lost of all of those lives is a manini sentence and be a MAN, why should the court and the public feel any compassion for your selfishness....the dude was a Navy vet and yet he cried like a frigging baby.

Blaming it on his med reaction was not a good reason for operating a vehicle anyway, if aanyone is "doped" up with drugs, he should be drving.
huh

Honolulu, HI

#16 Aug 7, 2008
Lolo head wrote:
what **** off the judge was that the defendant left the scene of the accident and attempted to "run away" from what he instigated...10 years in the slammer for the lost of all of those lives is a manini sentence and be a MAN, why should the court and the public feel any compassion for your selfishness....the dude was a Navy vet and yet he cried like a frigging baby.
Blaming it on his med reaction was not a good reason for operating a vehicle anyway, if aanyone is "doped" up with drugs, he should be drving.
wasn't ten years the max for the crime?
Wacko

Lahaina, HI

#17 Aug 7, 2008
Were all the farm workers documented workers. Were any of them illegal aliens's . Just wondering.
Von

Aiea, HI

#18 Aug 7, 2008
This was a hit and run. No one mentioned that. Being sleepy, feeling sad and all those things have no meaning.

Interesting Szemkowat can't even walk very well now and yet he wants everyone to help him get around, but he left the accident scene without offering any kind of help to all those people.

I have not respect for that.

He should get 10 years for each person that he left on the roadway without offering any kind of help.
huh

Honolulu, HI

#19 Aug 7, 2008
Wacko wrote:
Were all the farm workers documented workers. Were any of them illegal aliens's . Just wondering.
you have some serious personal pain that you need to deal with --- connecting with people in the real world will help you overcome it --- trolling on the internet can only make your affliction worse
huh

Honolulu, HI

#20 Aug 7, 2008
Von wrote:
This was a hit and run. No one mentioned that...
that is why the sentence is 10 years (which is the max)--- if his leaving the scene contributed to their death --- maybe an additional charge would fit
Stewart

Honolulu, HI

#21 Aug 7, 2008
He'll be out in 3 years, or less, and then 5 years probation, unreal, and he killed 4 people....
They were people

Las Vegas, NV

#23 Aug 7, 2008
Wacko wrote:
Were all the farm workers documented workers. Were any of them illegal aliens's . Just wondering.
And this matters WHY?
OKI DOKI

Irving, TX

#25 Aug 7, 2008
He's takes no blame!**** that, he could of done this to my family. PUT HIM AWAY FOR ALOOOONG TIME.

Since: Mar 08

Aiea, HI

#26 Aug 7, 2008
huh wrote:
<quoted text>
that is why the sentence is 10 years (which is the max)--- if his leaving the scene contributed to their death --- maybe an additional charge would fit
Thanks huh

I don't think he will live that long due to his bad health.

I drive in that area a lot and it's sad for the employer to make their workers ride in the back of those pickup trucks without any seat belts or protection at all. It's usually raining up there and every day the workers try to run across the road with all the traffic speeding like crazy.

I believe they might have a crosswalk now , but only have this tragedy happened.
Jim L

Kaneohe, HI

#27 Aug 7, 2008
Wacko wrote:
Were all the farm workers documented workers. Were any of them illegal aliens's . Just wondering.
What does their imigration status have to do with what happened. I cant believe the dude, his hired prostitute, I mean lawyer, and his church people thought he could just walk away from this. He is responsible for the death of all those people and the suffering of the others. He tried to evade responsibility when it happened and now is upset about having to pay for his crime. Amazing

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