Teenager Killed in Big Island semi-trailer truck crash Identified
Paauilo, Big Island (HawaiiNewsNow) – The Hawaii Police Department has released the name of the teenager killed by a semi-tractor-trailer in Patulous. They have identified him as 17-year-old John Deluz of Paauilo.
Friends say the teenager loved skateboarding, playing video games, and being outdoors. On Saturday, his grieving family and friends created a roadside memorial.
According to his cousin, Makani Diaz, Deluz boarded a "Hele On" bus in Waimea after finishing his shift at work. The bus was headed toward his home in Paauilo.
"He went come off of the bus in the blind side of the road and he went run in front of the rig. The rig was going about 45-miles an hour," said a witness.
All that remained of the accident on Highway 19 Saturday was a make-shift memorial, and memories of a 17-year-old boy who lived for his family.
"It was just heartbreaking," said Makani Diaz, who's a cousin of Deluz.
"John was a good boy, had a good head on his shoulders, always thought about other people, about his family more than I would say he thought about himself, very loving," said Dino Batino, a good friend of Deluz.
Makani Diaz tells us that his cousin John had just graduated from Laupahoehoe High School, and had recently landed a job he loved at the Paniolo Inn in Waimea.
"He was staying with his grandparents throughout the week as he worked in Waimea and on the weekends he would come and visit his family," said Diaz.
His family had just moved a week ago and Friday was the first time Deluz caught the bus from his job in Waimea to his new home in Paauilo.
"I'm pretty sure he would look both ways before getting off the bus," said Diaz.
Police say the teenager had gotten off of a "Hele On" bus near the Paauilo Makai road and tried to cross the highway in front of the shuttle. That's when a semi tractor trailer traveling in the same direction as the bus hit him. Deluz was taken to the hospital in critical condition, where he later died, leaving just memories to those close to him.
"He loved to hunt, fish, he loved being outdoors," said Diaz.
"We're going to miss him very much," said Batino.
Police say it's unknown at this time if speed or alcohol were factors in this crash. The Traffic Enforcement Unit has initiated a negligent homicide case and has ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.
If you want to help the family with funeral expenses you can send checks to P.O. Box 5063 Kukuihaele, HI 96727 c/o: Anita DeLuz