Members of Aiea church mourn pedestrian's death

Members of Aiea church mourn pedestrian's death
Kwi Im Swart
Kwi Im Swart

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

PEARL CITY (KHNL) - Members of an Aiea church are mourning the death of their long-time friend.

Mal Sun Chun, 79, was hit by a car in Moiliili Tuesday. She went to the hospital in critical condition and later died.

Two of her friends were walking with her at the time of the crash.

Kwi Im Swart and Nancy Moon say about 30 members of their church were going to have lunch at Yakiniku Camellia in Moiliili. Long-time friends Swart, Moon, and Mal Sun Chun caught the bus and had nearly made it to the restaurant when tragedy struck.

Kwi Im Swart and Nancy Moon search through photo albums for a picture of their camera-shy friend. They're still in shock over the sudden death of Mal Sun Chun, a retired hotel housekeeper and devoted church member.

"So sad," Swart said through tears.

The three friends were heading to lunch and had just gotten off a bus in Moiliili. They were in a crosswalk on South King Street, and had made it across three lanes, when a car, driven by a 64-year-old woman, slammed into Chun.

"We gotta walk. This car killed her," Swart said. "That's the reason I tell her, what happened you? How do you drive like that?"

Swart says she was walking right next to Chun and saw the car coming.

"I can not do nothing, you know," she said. "I wanted to grab her. My hands go already, this hand, I wanted to grab like that. No reach, almost I reached, car hit her."

Swart and Moon met the victim at the Aiea Korean United Methodist Church more than 30 years ago. They say the 79-year-old was very active and never sick.

"Real, real healthy lady," Swart said. "Early morning get up, she walk, exercise."

Heart-broken, the women are urging drivers to be more careful when approaching crosswalks.

"This much and almost hit me, too," Swart said. "Almost."

The victim's family members are expected to fly in from Korea this week.

Nine pedestrians have died on Oahu's roads this year, compared to 13 at the same time last year.