Sunday's horrendous crash on North Kihei Road that took the lives of two motorcyclists and injured three others is a devastating blow to our community.
Two very good people lost their lives. Marlene Debnam was a past president of Street Bikers United Hawaii-Maui County Chapter and one of the leaders of that group's annual drive for Toys for Tots.
The other victim, Abel Ventura, was described by a fellow cyclist as a "good guy . . . the kindest person you wanted to know."
Debnam, Ventura and the three injured motorcyclists were part of a St. Patrick's Day rally - a carefree, fun outing. Unfortunately, it turned into a sad reminder that a moment's distraction on our roads can prove deadly. In this case, it appears one small mistake resulted in the crash of six motorcycles and two pickup trucks.
While the official cause of Sunday's crash has not been announced, we'd like to make a few suggestions. To all of our cycling friends - both motorized and pedaling - we'd ask you to be especially diligent. You don't have the protective armor around you a car or truck provides, so remember that vulnerability and drive defensively.
We'd remind all of our motorist friends to not engage in activities that take your mind off the road - no phone calls, changing playlists or texting. And, remember, Maui County's roads are not super highways - slow down, obey the posted speed limits.
Maui County simply can't afford to keep losing good people who should have years of service to their friends and community left.
* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.