By JOHN BURNETT
Tribune-Herald staff writer
Patrocinia Cadang is being mourned by her family as a hardworking, devoted wife, mother and grandmother who came to Hawaii from her native Philippines a year ago “to seek greener pastures.”
The 54-year-old woman from Keaau’s Nine-and-a-Half-Mile Camp was one of two women killed in a traffic collision Monday afternoon in Hamakua that also injured her husband and several other people.
When Cadang, her 55-year-old husband, Siduro, and their 22-year-old son, John Angelo, came to Hawaii, they left behind the couple’s two daughters and another son.
“When she was still alive, she was thinking about petitioning them so they can join (the family) too, here in Hawaii, but that didn’t materialize. This thing happened,” Patrocinia Cadang’s brother, Oliver Ramo of Ainaloa, said Thursday. “Every time they get a paycheck, the first thing they do is to send money home, because the family is depending on them, too.”
Cadang and her husband were both among eight landscapers for Puna Certified Nursery who were returning home to Puna from a job in Waikoloa when the van they were in was run off Mamalahoa Highway (Route 19) and down a 15-foot embankment at Kalopa Gulch by the driver of a pickup truck police believe was trying to pass the van. Also killed in the crash was 61-year-old Josefina Visaya, another Nine-and-a-Half Mile Camp resident.
Three 46-year-old Keaau woman were critically injured in the collision. Marilyn Bagaoisan remains hospitalized at The Queen’s Medical Center in Honolulu, while Marilyn Chavez is at North Hawaii Community Hospital in Waimea and Maria Macadangdang is at Hilo Medical Center. Updates on their conditions were not available.
Siduro Cadang suffered a broken arm and broken ribs and was hospitalized for three days at NHCH before his release. He said he was “very, very sad and hurting.”
Gina Visaya of Keaau, the 23-year-old niece of Josefina Visaya, and 23-year-old J.R. Soriano of Keaau were both treated for minor injuries and released at HMC. The van’s 45-year-old driver, Efren Chavez, whose wife was critically injured, was treated and released at NHCH.
John Angelo Cadang, like his parents, is also a landscaper for the nursery, but he was not in the van.
Ramo said the family is “shattered” by the death of the grandmother of five.
Ramo’s and Patronicia Cadang’s sister, Emma Dela Rosa, said the entire former sugar plantation camp is in shock over the deaths.
“We are all friends there, because we are all neighbors. Nobody believes they are gone. It all happened so fast,” she said.
The driver of the pickup, 30-year-old Alfred Berdon III of Honokaa, appeared in Hilo Circuit Court Thursday morning on a charge of violating his probation for a 2007 road rage assault that caused the victim, Dayne Victorino, to lose an eye. Berdon was sentenced to a year in jail, which he was allowed to serve on weekends, and five years probation for the felony assault.
“He was arrested and charged with violating the terms of his probation,” said Deputy Prosecutor Rick Damerville, who pinch-hit for colleague Shannon Kagawa at Thursday’s hearing. “The allegations are that he violated his probation by committing a DUI about 20 days after he was re-sentenced back in 2011.”
Police say Berdon was intoxicated and speeding when the crash occurred, but he was not hurt, and a 7-year-old boy in the pickup truck was not seriously injured.
Berdon was arrested on suspicion of two counts of negligent homicide, four counts of negligent injury, DUI and driving with a suspended license and without insurance. He was released Wednesday night pending investigation of those charges.
Damerville said he was released because prosecutors are still awaiting toxicology results of a mandatory blood sample taken after the collision. He added that Berdon tested positive on Tuesday for THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, and oxycodone, a semi-synthetic opioid painkiller marketed as Oxycontin.
“That is only based on a urine test,” Damerville said. “That’s a presumptive test; it’s not a lab test. Typically, that would go out to a lab to determine whether or not it’s a false positive, because sometimes, it can be.”
Berdon was convicted of the November 2011 DUI on Aug. 7, but failed to have an ignition interlock device installed on his car by Aug. 14 as ordered and didn’t show up for a proof of compliance hearing on Sept. 4, according to court records, which also show that Berdon has been convicted of speeding five times since December 2000, most recently on June 25, 2010.
Damerville asked that Berdon be held without bail on the probation violation, but Hilo Circuit Judge Glenn Hara set bail at $20,000, which Berdon posted on Thursday.
Hara also ordered Berdon to appear before Hilo Circuit Judge Greg Nakamura at 8:30 a.m. on Oct. 22. Conditions of Berdon’s release include that he not possess or use alcohol, illicit drugs or drug paraphernalia and that he is subject to random drug and alcohol testing.
Ramo said he wants Berdon “to be in jail and not released.”
“He may hurt more people,” Ramo said.
Among those mourning Patrocinia Cadang’s loss is her 85-year-old mother, Rosario Ramo.
“It’s very, very hard losing a daughter — very, very hard for me. She is good to me,” she said.
The family is hoping to raise funds to send their loved one’s body back to the Philippines. They said it will cost between $10,000 and $20,000, money they don’t have.
“We are not rich here in Hawaii. We work paycheck to paycheck,” Oliver Ramo said.
To contribute, or for more information, call 430-0854.
Email John Burnett at email@example.com.