WAILUKU - After more than four months in bureaucratic limbo, a personal watercraft is on its way to being donated to the county in memory of an 8-year-old boy killed in a car crash last year.
The County Council Public Works and Facilities Committee on Wednesday recommended adoption of a resolution to accept a personal watercraft, trailer and other accessories from the Will Smith Foundation. The resolution moves on to the full council for a vote, possibly in August.
Smith was killed in a head-on car crash on June 3, 2007, while he and his mother were traveling toward Wailuku on Honoapiilani Highway near Ukumehame Wayside Park.
Smith's mother, Susan Moulton, said the foundation wanted to use money raised in her son's memory to make positive changes, but she expressed frustration with county bureaucratic delays rooted in the time needed to have the watercraft accepted by a council resolution.
Moulton could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
Parks Director Tamara Horcajo said parks officials are "very fortunate" to receive the donation of the rescue craft.
The parks department's Ocean Safety Division will station the $13,667 watercraft and its accessories in West Maui, although it could be used in other areas if needed in an emergency. The rescue craft will serve as a backup to other watercraft kept at D.T. Fleming Beach and Hanakaoo Beach Park. Those vehicles undergo periodic maintenance.
Committee Co-Chairman Mike Victorino said he has been trying to contact Moulton by letter and phone to have her present when the council formally accepts the donation, possibly during a full council meeting in August.
"I will try my best to reach her," he said.
Moulton, a part-time Maui resident, had been in her rental car last year with Smith when it was hit head-on by a 23-year-old Lahaina woman driving a Mazda sedan.
The force of the collision cut the Mazda in two, but the woman and Moulton walked away from the collision. Smith sustained severe internal injuries and died on an operating table at Maui Memorial Medical Center.
No charges have been filed in connection with the crash, which remains under investigation.
* Melissa Tanji can be reached at mtanji@mauinews.com.