Mother of woman killed in Waialua crash: ‘We realize it was a tragic accident’

Local News

The mother of a woman killed in a drunk-driving crash in Waialua is speaking out.

Jericho Poppler-Bartlow tells us she holds no hard feelings toward the driver, who was her daughter’s boyfriend.

The crash happened at around 10:15 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28, on Waialua Beach Road.

Police say the 35-year-old driver was speeding when he lost control and hit a tree.

Sophia Tiare Bartlow, 26, was thrown from the truck and died at the hospital.

“She was an all-around water woman, and when she was going to university, she was Hawaii state surfing champion, so it’s just our lifestyle,” said Poppler-Bartlow. “She was very exuberant. People kept on saying, ‘Oh, she’s just like you,’ and I went, ‘No, no, no, no.’ She’s a thousand times brighter and really lovable and she was supportive. She lived the life she loved.”

Popper-Bartlow said on Tuesday, she spoke to Bartlow’s boyfriend for the first time since the crash.

“He’s totally crushed, and we’re so sorry for everybody, and we know that Sophia was such a guiding, loving light, that there’s no hard feelings at all,” she said. “We realize it was a tragic accident that was very unfortunate, and we’re working with the boyfriend’s family, who walked away from the crash and who’s alive on the North Shore.”

The driver was arrested on suspicion of negligent homicide and driving under the influence, but was released pending investigation.

We used HPD’s CrimeMapping tool and found out there have been more than DUI 160 cases on Oahu since the beginning of 2017.

Through the end of February, Honolulu police will be setting up checkpoints across the island in an effort to crackdown on drivers under the influence.

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