Driver who fled crash gets 10-year se...

Driver who fled crash gets 10-year sentence

There are 151 comments on the Honolulu Star-Bulletin story from Aug 7, 2008, 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.

mananamama

Pearl City, HI

#146 Aug 8, 2008
Kutchinta wrote:
<quoted text>
Why wasn't there any mention of the wife? I heard she's a navy commander who used to work at NCTAMS where he kept his car for days after the accident. Any truth to that?
That's a fact. Days? His car was parked there for months with the blessing of her superior. She, like her husband, blames the victims, the news media, the investigators, HPD, as well as the witnesses for being biased since they are all locals and they (Szemkows) are white. Yes he is a reckless driver. The scenario of him walking like a feeble 99 yr. old is nothing but acting worthy of an Oscar. Both are arrogant liars and everyone else is beneath them, hence, farmers are nothing in their warped minds. Explains why no apologies from either one of them. Well this sorry excuse for a man will have plenty of time to spend with "da local boyz". For those of us that know both of them personally; they have no great love for locals. How ironic. Now you gotta be with them 24/7. Fortunately for her, she will only get to deal with them during her visiting hours.
Youre no angel

Silver Spring, MD

#147 Aug 8, 2008
mananamama wrote:
<quoted text>
That's a fact. Days? His car was parked there for months with the blessing of her superior. She, like her husband, blames the victims, the news media, the investigators, HPD, as well as the witnesses for being biased since they are all locals and they (Szemkows) are white. Yes he is a reckless driver. The scenario of him walking like a feeble 99 yr. old is nothing but acting worthy of an Oscar. Both are arrogant liars and everyone else is beneath them, hence, farmers are nothing in their warped minds. Explains why no apologies from either one of them. Well this sorry excuse for a man will have plenty of time to spend with "da local boyz". For those of us that know both of them personally; they have no great love for locals. How ironic. Now you gotta be with them 24/7. Fortunately for her, she will only get to deal with them during her visiting hours.
The wife can bend over too. I doubt if the boys in Halawa are very picky.
mananamama

Pearl City, HI

#148 Aug 8, 2008
Angel of Truth wrote:
Just like when he was in the news for pleading "no contest" due to not being able to afford 100K+ for a trial, if he could get a fair one in Hawaii being white and a Navy Vet., only half truths get reported. Yes, usually heavy meds say "be careful" on side of bottles, but usually the warning is until the patient knows how it will affect them. This guy was on those meds over 10 years and no problems or drowsiness when driving ever happened. Add another med one month prior to the accident and situation changes, although he was on meds to counteract sleepiness of narcotics and docs all said it was OK, the patient should feel safe to drive. But one day it happens, without warning, and all hell breaks loose. Sad that people died, but really, if they were in a safe vehicle, noone would die. And all you locals-don't tell us that riding in back of pickups is a way of life - too many accidents tell us it is a way of death. Also, after regaining conciousness he drives on and the crash happens 10-15 seconds later after he is 400 feet (300 feet=football field) up the road. With A/C, radio, blurred mind, of course he didn't hear it, but when he found out about it 2 hours later, HE contacted HPD. Sounds like this guy really is a straight shooter. What about some maniac honking their horn behind him? If he saw them, would you stop in that situation, not knowing who/what they were? And since they were 3-4 car lenghts behind him would he hear them? How close behind does an ambulance have to be before you hear the sirens? I have driven one and between radios/ac/cell phones, etc., I have had to almost push cars out of the way. He also isn't blaming the dead people for their demise, but there was proof the driver was speeding, 54 in a 35, and the farm should have had these people in a safe vehicle and the driver should be able to control the vehicle. She crashed 400 feet after swerving, then crossed the yellow line did a 180 and hit the cement truck. Ever hear of brakes? This accident was a tragedy, but it was a tragic ACCIDENT. This guy doesn't belong in prison. He says he hasn't driven in 2 years, and won't know that he knows the meds can bite him in the ocole whenever/wherever it chooses. Sounds like a straightup guy to me. Why don't we give this guy some slack. We are all sorry for the losses, but 10 years in prison is unprecedented. all other cases like this his attorney defended got deferred plea or probation and one never got charged. Why is this one being singled out? There was NO deliberate lane change, NO car to pass in front of him,NO running away from something because he NEVER saw what happened. The state of Hawaii will now pay $100,000 per year to keep him in prison plus potentially $1,000,000 in medical costs because there was an accident and this guy did everything a normal standup guy would do. Call the Governor, call your Congressman, make some noise. This is UNFAIR. Think about if you were in the same place. Ten years of your life. That is a tragedy.
Angel of Truth + Supporter = Mrs. Szemkow
You should be in jail with your husband.
ANONYMOUS

Kapaa, HI

#149 Aug 8, 2008
I can't stand people like that. There are good people and there are bad people.

That jerk is one of those people that thinks he can get away with anything...and probably has up until this point

They totally freaking disgust me.

What will he really serve?
As long as he is fed and has a television..those 10 years will go by like the seconds he scarfs down at the dinner table.

Married to one....his fat ugly wife waddles on......
Mike

Honolulu, HI

#150 Aug 8, 2008
This should serve as a stern warning to people who like to drive recklessly with the Ainokea attitude.

You can cause an accident with fatalities that costs you money, house, limbs, life or freedom. John must have been driving recklessly for a long time and his karma finally caught up with him. Ten years is a long time in prison and he'll be sufferring dearly for it, especially in his condition.

As a teenager, I still remember my parents telling me to drive carefully so "they don't take away the house." I never really understood this warning back then. Now, it's crystal clear to me.

Now that it's clear to readers of this forum and the article, let's all drive carefully so we don't end up like John, or his victims.
mananamama

Pearl City, HI

#151 Aug 8, 2008
Youre no angel wrote:
<quoted text>
The wife can bend over too. I doubt if the boys in Halawa are very picky.
Have you seen his wife?
Skeletor was one of the kinder names for her
mananamama

Honolulu, HI

#152 Aug 8, 2008
Angel of Truth wrote:
<quoted text>
What a judge of humankind you are. Do you know how many meds he takes just to be able to walk his dog? No trouble walking? When have you seen him? I see him every day and he is a post card for pain and has to push himself to get his feet moving, but fights the pain so his dog can go pee. Don't judge a man unless you know him. And by the way - shipmates don't support each other this way shame on you
SHAME ON YOU!
"Angel of Truth" aka Mrs. Szemkow, USN. Truth? Not in your vocabulary and obviously not in your husband's diabolical mind either. Angel? Far from it, and you're a commander in the Navy. What an insult to the Navy and your shipmates!
curious

AOL

#153 Aug 10, 2008
Why wasn't his wife in the courtroom when he was sentenced?
lolokulolo

Kihei, HI

#154 Aug 12, 2008
curious wrote:
Why wasn't his wife in the courtroom when he was sentenced?
Because she's out there defending the country - as a Navy commander.
lolokulolo

Kihei, HI

#155 Aug 12, 2008
navys finest wrote:
What a man!! Can the victums families sue? I would hope so. Take his house, car/s, furniture, everything.... that's a start towards the healing process for the families.
Well, maybe it's too late. He may have been busy transferring out his assets during the past year. I heard his wife is super rich.
curious

AOL

#156 Aug 12, 2008
I think that any lawsuit would calculate his assets from the day of the crash, so it wouldn't matter if he had transferred anything to her.
SilentDoGood

Makawao, HI

#157 Aug 13, 2008
Four died and injured eight. Car responsible left the scence of the accident.
Accused blamed his medication.
Sounds like a cover up drunk driver to me if he did not get tested for DUI.
Szemkow gets only 10 years is not justice for those who died.
The pickup would have been better off if it hit Szemkow's sedan head on instead of a 40-ton concrete mixer truck.
mananamama

Pearl City, HI

#160 Aug 28, 2008
Angel of Truth wrote:
Just like when he was in the news for pleading "no contest" due to not being able to afford 100K+ for a trial, if he could get a fair one in Hawaii being white and a Navy Vet., only half truths get reported. Yes, usually heavy meds say "be careful" on side of bottles, but usually the warning is until the patient knows how it will affect them. This guy was on those meds over 10 years and no problems or drowsiness when driving ever happened. Add another med one month prior to the accident and situation changes, although he was on meds to counteract sleepiness of narcotics and docs all said it was OK, the patient should feel safe to drive. But one day it happens, without warning, and all hell breaks loose. Sad that people died, but really, if they were in a safe vehicle, noone would die. And all you locals-don't tell us that riding in back of pickups is a way of life - too many accidents tell us it is a way of death. Also, after regaining conciousness he drives on and the crash happens 10-15 seconds later after he is 400 feet (300 feet=football field) up the road. With A/C, radio, blurred mind, of course he didn't hear it, but when he found out about it 2 hours later, HE contacted HPD. Sounds like this guy really is a straight shooter. What about some maniac honking their horn behind him? If he saw them, would you stop in that situation, not knowing who/what they were? And since they were 3-4 car lenghts behind him would he hear them? How close behind does an ambulance have to be before you hear the sirens? I have driven one and between radios/ac/cell phones, etc., I have had to almost push cars out of the way. He also isn't blaming the dead people for their demise, but there was proof the driver was speeding, 54 in a 35, and the farm should have had these people in a safe vehicle and the driver should be able to control the vehicle. She crashed 400 feet after swerving, then crossed the yellow line did a 180 and hit the cement truck. Ever hear of brakes? This accident was a tragedy, but it was a tragic ACCIDENT. This guy doesn't belong in prison. He says he hasn't driven in 2 years, and won't know that he knows the meds can bite him in the ocole whenever/wherever it chooses. Sounds like a straightup guy to me. Why don't we give this guy some slack. We are all sorry for the losses, but 10 years in prison is unprecedented. all other cases like this his attorney defended got deferred plea or probation and one never got charged. Why is this one being singled out? There was NO deliberate lane change, NO car to pass in front of him,NO running away from something because he NEVER saw what happened. The state of Hawaii will now pay $100,000 per year to keep him in prison plus potentially $1,000,000 in medical costs because there was an accident and this guy did everything a normal standup guy would do. Call the Governor, call your Congressman, make some noise. This is UNFAIR. Think about if you were in the same place. Ten years of your life. That is a tragedy.
You're a sociopath like your husband John and unfortunately your daughter is a sociopath in training
Lady

Alachua, FL

#161 Sep 14, 2008
The media twisted it around
He is innocent; I know
Budster

Kahului, HI

#162 Sep 14, 2008
Lady wrote:
The media twisted it around
He is innocent; I know
Sorry, but your friend is so guilty. Only God knows the real answer Lady.
Ok, lock'm up!
Lady

Alachua, FL

#163 Sep 14, 2008
All you sick people are racist; did you ever think that the driver was riding erratically?
The trial was too high for them to afford and with all you on the jury, he would not have a chance. If he had been anywhere but Hawaii, he wold have a fair trial.
You are telling that he is guilty before he is proven innocent.
Where you all there?
The driver should be put on trial but she is not white.
LauLau

AOL

#164 Sep 14, 2008
They should have give him life, that's what the other people got!!!!!!!! LIFE.
alice

Honolulu, HI

#165 Sep 14, 2008
we all need to vote Obama and anyone with brains will.
nnifer

AOL

#166 Sep 14, 2008
Death!!!!!!!!!
Angel7

Kahului, HI

#167 Sep 14, 2008
Lady wrote:
All you sick people are racist; did you ever think that the driver was riding erratically?
The trial was too high for them to afford and with all you on the jury, he would not have a chance. If he had been anywhere but Hawaii, he wold have a fair trial.
You are telling that he is guilty before he is proven innocent.
Where you all there?
The driver should be put on trial but she is not white.
Lady! Were you there??? Face it, your dear buddy friend is a chronic drug user and he is guilty. I think you'd be screaming a different tune if he killed someone you loved right?!?!? And Lady, read the last paragraph in your comment. Geez, talking of being a racist.

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