Hauula family loses its 'shining light' in double-fatality crash - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hauula family loses its 'shining light' in double-fatality crash in Waikane

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

HAAULA (HawaiiNewsNow) - The family of a young woman killed in a crash in Waikane over the weekend is describing her as a shining light, who was always quick to help a friend in need.

Courtney Ditto's heart-broken parents and sisters say they have no hard feelings against the driver in the single-car crash. Micah Mench, 27, also died.

Known for her bright smile, contagious giggle and generous spirit, Courtney Ditto's motto in life was "make a new friend everyday."

"She got to meet some really wonderful people here in Hawaii," Christy Ditto, victim's mother, said through tears. "She used to come home tell me all about all the different people that she met. They were all so nice to her."

Courtney graduated at the top of her class at Faith Lutheran High in Las Vegas, attended University of Nevada Reno, and moved to Hawaii about a year ago. She landed two jobs -- as a tax professional at H&R Block and in sales at Sears -- and was enjoying the beauty of her new home.

"It's just been hard because now she's not here," Christy Ditto said.

The 20-year-old was riding in a car that slammed into a tree off Kamehameha Highway near Johnson Road Saturday night. Her boyfriend, Micah Mench, was behind the wheel.

Both were pronounced dead at the scene.

"You don't believe, you don't," Britney Ditto, victim's older sister, said. "I still don't believe it."

"We've been waiting for her to come home," Jim Ditto, victim's father, said through tears. "She's not going to."

Police say speed and alcohol were possible factors in the crash.

The Dittos have no ill will towards Micah who, they say, was always so good to Courtney. The two were inseparable.

"My heart goes out to his mom and dad, too," Christy Ditto said. "They have to be hurting just as bad as we are."

The family is preparing to take Courtney back to Las Vegas, where hundreds of people are expected at her services -- all there to say goodbye to a young woman with a big heart.

"Even if you met Courtney for a very short period of time, she touched your life," Christy Ditto said.

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