LUCERNE VALLEY, Calif. – The San Bernardino County Coroner has identified the man who died in a head-on collision in Lucerne Valley as 20-year-old Luamata ‘Maka’ Halaholo from West Covina, California.
The head-on collision occurred on Old Woman Springs Road (State Route 247) at the intersection with Post Office Road on Thursday afternoon. Emergency responders arrived at the scene around 4:12 PM to discover two severely damaged vehicles—a black sedan and a red sedan.
Tragically, Halaholo, a male passenger in the black sedan, was found trapped and, despite efforts from first responders, succumbed to his injuries at the site of the crash.
The driver of the same sedan and the occupants of the red car, a man and a woman, sustained injuries and were quickly transported to a regional trauma center. The woman reportedly could not feel her legs following the incident.
Following Halaholo’s death, his family took to social media to express their profound sorrow. In an emotional Facebook post, Leilua Halaholo, his sister, stated: “It is with heavy heart that we announce the unexpected passing of our dear brother/son, Luamata Finau Halaholo, at the young age of 20 years old.” She captured her family’s turmoil and their source of solace, noting that the idea of Luamata reuniting with their mother, who passed two years prior, brought them some peace.
Family friend Esmeralda Hernandez Vasquez also shared her condolences online, remarking on Halaholo’s beautiful spirit and extending prayers and love during this time of grief.
Uma Manutai, Halaholo’s aunt, reached out to local community members via VVNG, sharing the family’s struggle to locate him after the accident.
“Our family traveled to the area from West Covina no one was able to locate him no information of where his body is. They tried the hospital. They told my family they were transporting to a mortuary still no information.” she stated. “Very heartbreaking to hear of his passing and all we wanted to do was see our grandnephew, especially his father. They just lost their mom (my niece) 2 years ago, and now my grandnephew is gone.”
Old Woman Springs Road remained closed for several hours as investigators and the fire department worked on the scene, which included the extrication of Halaholo’s body well into the evening.
The California Highway Patrol is actively investigating the cause of the crash. Details concerning Halaholo’s funeral services will be shared by the family in the coming days, they said.
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