Maximum sentence handed to sergeant in fatal hit and run

Douglas Curtis
Douglas Curtis
Zachary Manago
Zachary Manago
Daphne Manago
Daphne Manago

An army sergeant's clean record didn't get him any breaks in court. Douglas Curtis was sentenced to the maximum 10-years in prison for the hit and run death of a teenager.

Circuit Court Judge Ed Kubo said Curtis is not defined by one act but that one act does provoke consequences.

Curtis, 26, was sentenced to the maximum prison time despite pleading no contest before the trial and this was the army sergeant's first offense.  His attorney also said he didn't have any history of drugs.

But Judge Kubo said Curtis was "reckless, callous and irresponsible" when he didn't stop to help after an accident that ultimately killed 18 year old Zachary Manago who was riding his bike at the time on Kamehameha Highway near Leilehua Golf Course in December 2010.

"I'm sorry for what happened. I feel horrible. I don't sleep at night really anymore. I wake up and think about it. I go to work and think about it. I want your forgiveness but if I can't have it its okay," said a tearful Curtis, to the Manago family before the sentence was announced.

"I think he was really sorry and very remorseful so I just have mixed emotions right now," said Daphne Manago, Zachary's mom, who declined to comment further on the 10 year sentence.

"We were expecting some jail but not the maximum. It's the same sentence he would have gotten, maximum sentence if he went to trial and put the family through all the trauma of it," said Jonathan Burge, Defense Attorney.

Even prosecuting attorney Scott Bell was surprised at the lengthy punishment.

The Manago family questioned if Curtis was drinking the night of the accident, but it was not addressed during the sentencing.

Afterward the sentencing Curtis declined comment.  His attorney did respond to the alcohol question.

"No he wasn't drinking that day. Basically he was at the gym and he was driving around. There is no indication of drinking. They tried checking the bars in the area, he wasn't in there. They checked his credit cards and he didn't have nothing for drinking. He wasn't drinking that day," said Burge.

The defense said Curtis thought he hit a pig.  But Judge Kubo said a reasonable driver would have stopped regardless considering there was "massive damage to the vehicle" including a shattered windshield and the right fender cracked off.

Curtis wasn't found until three days after the crash when Manago's friends, on their own, went out looking for damaged cars and found Curtis' car and reported it to police.  It happened to be the right person.

The Manago family says they'll continue to advocate for safer bikeways to prevent future accidents.

In addition to the prison time Curtis was ordered to pay $4,233 restitution to the Manago family for funeral expenses.

Curtis, who has a five-year-old daughter in California, was given two weeks before having to report to prison.

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