Woman killed while waiting at bus stop 'loved simple things in life'

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

WAIPAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Family members describe the elderly woman who was killed while waiting at a bus stop in Waipahu Sunday as a person who enjoyed the simple things in life.

Benita Duldulao moved to Hawaii from the Philippines eight years ago. Her family says she absolutely loved watching Filipino soap operas and Wheel of Fortune, and was happiest when she was talking on the phone with her relatives back home.

Her friend was injured in the crash.

A bandaged knee. Bruised and swollen elbows. Celestina Acob, 67, is dealing with physical and emotional pain, one day after a Ford Taurus plowed into the Waipahu bus stop where she and her friend were waiting.

"I saw the car coming and I run, but I don't know what happened to me," the crash victim said. "That's why I fall down."

She quickly realized her friend, Benita Duldulao, didn't get out of the car's path in time.

The church-going mother of six -- who, at 68 years old, still worked every morning as a janitor so she could send money to her children in the Philippines -- was killed.

"I'm not feeling good," Acob said.

"Aunty Benita was a generous and loving person," Walter Corpuz, Duldulao's nephew, said. "Wake up in the morning about 4:30, catch the bus at 5 o'clock in the morning, and then come home before lunch. After lunch, try to call the kids (in the Philippines)."

On Sunday, family members -- including her husband of 46 years -- were expecting her to meet them at church. She never showed up.

"On their way to the church, they came across the accident over at Paiwa (Street). They didn't know that she was the one that was hit," Corpuz said. "When they came home that afternoon, they were looking for her and she wasn't around."

Investigators say alcohol may have been a factor in the crash. Police arrested Richtenson Alyphios, 41, and Salome Simion, 40, after witnesses say they got out of the car and fled the scene.

"Why would they run away from an accident that they caused?" Corpuz said. "Everybody was angry."

Court records indicate Alyphios, identified as the driver, already has a DUI case pending.

The bus stop where Duldulao was killed has a new bench and fresh flowers. Her family says her death leaves a hole that cannot be filled.

"She's more than a grandma, a mother, an aunty," Corpuz said. "She's more than that."

Police released Alyphios and Simion from custody pending further investigation.

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