Victim of hit-and-run crash on freeway reacts to suspected driver's arrest

Victim of hit-and-run crash on freeway reacts to suspected driver's arrest
Darrell Shiraki
Darrell Shiraki

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The victim of a hit-and-run collision on the H-1 Freeway early Tuesday says he feels a little better now that a suspect has been arrested. A Kalihi man is accused of crashing his car into a motorcycle and fleeing the scene.

Richard Tarape of Waipahu remains at the Queen's Medical Center, nursing a broken ankle, bruised ribs and road rash. After undergoing ankle surgery, he spoke with this reporter by phone from his hospital bed.

Some 17 hours after a hit-and-run on the H-1 Freeway left a motorcyclist wounded, Darrell Shiraki, 28, drove a damaged 2008 white Toyota Camry to the main police station and surrendered.

"Hearing about that, if that was the guy, then maybe it makes it a little better," Tarape, crash victim, said.

Witnesses say a car was speeding and weaving on the freeway just after midnight Tuesday, when it slammed into Tarape's motorcycle from behind and kept going.

"All I remember was a set of headlights," Tarape said. "I was looking at my side view mirror and this set of headlights just came up fast right behind me."

He says he doesn't recall the moments immediately following the impact.

"I think I was unconscious for 15, 20 minutes 'cause I woke up and there was this guy and this lady just holding my hands," Tarape said.

The 37-year-old suffered bruised ribs and a broken ankle, which is now being held together with a metal plate and screws. Still, he considers himself lucky.

"I mean, to get away with some strawberries and a broken ankle compared to what it could have been, yeah, I think I feel pretty good," he said.

Police arrested Shiraki on suspicion of failure to render aid, a felony, and then released him pending further investigation. His car remains inside HPD's evidence cage while investigators wait for a search warrant.

Tarape says he has loved riding motorcycles since high school, but isn't sure now when he'll get back on a bike.

"Probably maybe later, but like years down the road," he said.

Defense attorney Keith Shigetomi wouldn't comment on the case, except to say that his client, Shiraki, went to police voluntarily.

Because of the time that elapsed between the collision and the arrest, it's not yet known if alcohol or drugs played a role. Investigators are asking anyone with knowledge of the suspect's whereabouts prior to the crash to call police.

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