Parents of hit-and-run crash victim mourn as police continue hunt for driver

Michael Murphy
Michael Murphy
Michael Murphy's family
Michael Murphy's family

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The pedestrian killed in a hit-and-run crash near the Neal Blaisdell Center more than a week ago is being remembered as a profound writer and a devoted friend who came to Hawaii about a year ago on a "journey of discovery."

A quick-witted young man with a big heart, and a love for books and music -- that's how family members described Michael Murphy, 22.

"Michael found something good about every individual and every circumstance," Dona Murphy, victim's mother, said. "His mind was intense. His mind was big. His heart and soul, even bigger."

"He was a guy that was extremely generous so that he always thought of others first," Joe Murphy, victim's father, said.

Murphy was crossing South King Street near Victoria Street November 21st, when a car slammed into him. His mother says her life forever changed when she received a call while making breakfast at her Livermore, California home last week.

"All I heard was along the lines of, 'This is the Medical Examiner from Honolulu. I have very bad news for you,'" Dona Murphy said. "At that point, I just threw the phone and I started sobbing."

It's been nine days since the deadly crash and police are still searching for the driver, who fled the scene.

"Perhaps the driver is not found, but if the driver is human with a heart and soul, the driver is in very bad shape," Dona Murphy said. "They can't be sleeping."

Joe Murphy says his son was a voracious reader who enjoyed the novel "War and Peace," and the writings of Shakespeare as a sixth grader. He says Michael wanted to become a writer himself, and traveled to different places so that he could have the kinds of adventures that led to great stories.

"The taking of my son's life is irreversible," Joe Murphy said. "His brothers and sisters and his parents and his aunts and uncles will never be able to spend another Christmas or Thanksgiving, will not get to watch him grow old."

Dona Murphy was upset when her son scribbled a message on his bedroom wall at the age of 16. She says that message has given her strength during this difficult time.

"He wrote, 'If I live to see my dreams, I have seen victory. If I die fighting for my dreams, I still see victory,'" she said. "My motto has become 'Michael is victorious.'"

Police say there are following up on every tip they receive. If you have any information about this case, call Crimestoppers at 955-8300.

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