Dozens gather to remember teen who died in moped crash and suppo - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Dozens gather to remember teen who died in moped crash and support grief-stricken dad

Graffiti on a wall behind a memorial for Hunter Ortego. (Courtesy loosendastrings) Graffiti on a wall behind a memorial for Hunter Ortego. (Courtesy loosendastrings)
(Courtesy loosendastrings) (Courtesy loosendastrings)
AINA HAINA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Blue flashing lights from police cars lit up the intersection of Kalanianaole Highway and East Hind Drive, but this time they illuminated a gathering to pay tribute to a teen who died after a moped crash there Wednesday.

Dozens of people turned out for a candlelight vigil Saturday evening, some of them friends of 17-year-old Hunter Ortego. But most of those attending were Aiea High School classmates of Hunter's father, Sheldon Ortego. They had come to support a grief-stricken dad.

"I think it was necessary for us to get together as friends and family to be able to come to this place, come together and be together," said classmate Chris Magpoc, who helped organize the gathering.

They brought candles and flowers to the growing makeshift memorial. But mostly they cried and hugged and remembered Hunter and his family. 

Earlier, there were other tributes, some of them unwanted. There was graffiti spray-painted on the wall behind the memorial, and more tagging on nearby utility boxes. 

Sheldon Ortego, along with friends and family, painted it over Saturday.

"They're hurting too, as much as I miss my son. And it's just not in the right way, because they're disrespecting the neighborhood," he said.

Ortego also cleaned up the memorial, removing what he felt were inappropriate mementos.

"There was some beer bottles here and things, and I don't want that kind of stuff around," he said. "I just don't want Hunter to be remembered like that."

Ortego said those responsible texted and called him to apologize, and had offered to help clean it up.

He's still grateful for the condolences, including the Saturday evening vigil.

"I had a hard time coming here, but I knew I had to do it. I'm glad I did."

Copyright 2015 HawaiiNewsNow. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly