Jury Trial Scheduled for Driver in Fatal November Crash

August 26, 2020, 12:20 PM HST (Updated August 26, 2020, 12:23 PM)
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Cassandra Ellis.

A jury trial for the driver of a vehicle that struck and killed a Kailua-Kona mother of four is set for Jan. 5, 2021.

Nicholas Abarcar appeared before 3rd Circuit Court Judge Robert D.S. Kim on Wednesday on manslaughter and negligent homicide charges in connection to the November crash on Queen Ka‘ahumanu Highway that left Cassandra Lynn Ellis dead and injured her three passengers. Ellis’ 15-year-old daughter, Taylor Campogan, and Campogan’s friend, 15-year-old Kawena Haserot, were pulled from the burning vehicle by police, as was Ellis’s 10-year-old daughter.

Abarcar was indicted on Aug. 11 with manslaughter, first-degree negligent homicide and second-degree negligent homicide in connection to Ellis’ death. Additionally, Abarcar was charged with two counts of first-degree negligent injury and second-degree negligent injury for the three passengers who were injured in the crash. He is also charged with operating a vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicant.

A bench warrant was issued for Abarcar’s arrest following the indictment on Aug. 18. He was taken into custody on Aug. 21 and released on $15,000 bail.

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The two-car crash occurred on Nov. 10, 2019. Abarcar, 25 at the time, was traveling south on Queen Ka‘ahumanu Highway in a Jeep Renegade when he crossed into oncoming traffic and struck a Honda Pilot driven by Ellis, who was traveling north.

Ellis, 35, died at the scene.

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