A 3-year old boy was killed and a mother and three siblings were injured as a car hit a Makaha bus stop yesterday and then fled the scene in an apparent hit and run. The driver fled the scene, but patrol officers caught up with him shortly after, finding a badly damaged Honda sedan about two miles away near the Makaha 7-Eleven. This according to Lt. Robert Towne of the Honolulu Police Department’s Traffic Division.
Officers arrested the driver of the sedan immediately. He was identified as a 44-year-old Lualualei man. He was arrested on suspicion of suspicion of first-degree negligent homicide, causing accidental death or injury and driving under the influence of alcohol.
As mentioned, the 3-year old boy died, but Paramedics took four other family members to the Queen’s Medical Center: a girl, 11, in critical condition with leg and head injuries; the mother, 41, in guarded condition; a boy, 7, in serious condition; and a girl, 5, in serious condition.
Next door neighbor to the crash scene Analia Barboza said she was watching TV in her home at about 10:15 p.m. when she heard a loud noise. “It was like somebody blew a tree up,” Barboza said. “It rattled my house.” She ran out to help and found the family in shock. After an initial scream, “it was real quiet, it was eerie.”
She said she tried to comfort the injured children. A woman who is a nurse arrived and found one of the daughters in the brush several feet behind the bus stop, where she had been thrown by impact of the crash, Barboza said.
The father of the children was across the street with another child, setting up a tent for the family when the impact occurred. This is a very sad story and highlights even more reasons we need to be trying to find a better way to shelter Hawaii’s homeless families.
Courts records show that the 44-year-old suspect had six prior felony convictions and six misdemeanors, including a 1986 conviction for drunk driving, car theft and criminal property damage on Maui. He was sentenced to five years in jail. In 2004 he was sentenced to a 10-year jail term for first-degree burglary. It’s not clear from the court records available if the suspect finished his sentence early, or if he was on probation. More will pop up on this matter shortly, so look for more updates.