EWA BEACH (HawaiiNewsNow) - A retired marine is in critical condition after being hit by a truck while in a crosswalk near his Ewa Beach home. Wallace Nakama, 77, started using a cane after suffering a stroke six years ago. According to his family, the former mechanic still tried to stay active.
"He usually catches a bus to Shiro's and he returns on the bus and he crosses the street on a pretty much regular basis," said his daughter, Debbie Nakama.
Wallace Nakama was hit by a truck while in a crosswalk just before 9:30 a.m. on Monday. Police said Leialoha Estrella, 25, was turning left from Ewa Beach Road onto Fort Weaver Road when she slammed into Nakama. His wife, who was at home, heard about the crash from a neighbor.
"She came outside and she came running and I said, 'Ma'am are you okay?' And she was like, 'My husband, my husband,'" said Ewa Beach resident Rosela Fuller.
Nakama's daughter got a call from her brother while she was at work.
"Just thinking about it. I can't believe it, really? Just that thought, but it always runs through your mind how bad the accident is and how bad he was," said Debbie Nakama.
Wallace Nakama was taken to the Queen's Medical Center. His family said he is now in the Intensive Care Unit.
"They have to keep him, monitor him, but again, they can't really tell us what's happening and how he's feeling at this time so we just have to wait," said Debbie Nakama.
Investigators do not believe speed and alcohol were factors, but police arrested Estrella for negligent injury and driving without a license.
"My mother's very angry and it's always running though my mind exactly how could she have hit him?" said Debbie Nakama. "I don't think he deserved to get hit."
Residents said Wallace Nakama was hit along a dangerous stretch, and his family believes a traffic signal would help pedestrians safely get across the busy road.
"This intersection here, there's no traffic light so you know, it always makes me think that a traffic light would help, but I think, regardless, people just do whatever they have to do to get past," said Debbie Nakama.