Mock crash today will become driver’s education video

Today from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Farrington Highway in front of Molokai High School will be closed to traffic so that a mock car crash and rescue can be simulated.

A video of the crash will be used in the school’s driver’s education program. School Resource Officer Michael McCutcheon also plans to use the video to raise public awareness around the issues of teenage driving, including the problem of distracted drivers.

Emergency responders will also use this mock crash for training. A student involved in the mock accident will be taken to Molokai General Hospital in a simulation of a real medical emergency.

The local driver’s education program received a $2,000 grant from the Hawaii Association of Safety and Traffic Educators to conduct this mock crash. Driver Education instructor Malia Lee got the idea for this project from a similar educational video produced on the mainland called “Shattered Lives.”


Kalaupapa patient arrested on federal charges involving methamphetamine

A bail hearing was held yesterday for Norbert Palea, 68, of Kalaupapa, who faces federal charges for allegedly attempting to ship methamphetamine to the peninsula. Palea is reportedly the youngest of the Hansen’s disease patients still living in Kalaupapa.

A Drug Enforcement Administration affidavit filed Monday in Honolulu District Court alleges that Palea attempted to mail more than half an ounce of crystal methamphetamine to Kalaupapa from Honolulu in February.

The affidavit states that Palea used state vehicles and drivers to transport boxes containing crystal meth to Honolulu International Airport and that a state worker even helped by signing documents for one of the shipments.

Palea is in federal custody, charged with possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute the drug.

The indictment says the DEA also investigated and questioned Palea during a November trip to Oahu. Apparently agents stopped him at the Honolulu airport November 17 and found nine plastic bags containing 4.6 grams of suspected methamphetamine in a box he was planning to take to Molokai.

On February 26, Palea arrived at the Honolulu airport in a state car and paid $24 to ship a box to Molokai, according to the DEA. When agents searched the box, they found two plastic bags containing 18 grams of methamphetamine, the report said. The quantity of drugs “is not consistent for personal use but rather is more consistent with distribution,” according to the report.