Maui crash victim remembered as loving teacher, friend

Maui crash victim remembered as loving teacher, friend
(Image: Egbert Family)
(Image: Egbert Family)

KAHULUI, MAUI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Friends and family are remembering a Maui woman who was killed after her car was hit by a wrong-way driver running from police.

Melissa Egbert, 33, of Lahaina was on her way to tutor one of her students Saturday before the crash happened.

Egbert was an English teacher at University of Hawaii Maui College. She just started her first full semester there this fall.

"Anytime she could laugh or find a way to laugh or make other people laugh, she really made sure that was how she lived her life," said close friend Jessica Budica.

Budica remembers her grad school days with Egbert at CSU Long Beach.

She said Egbert had a zest for life and was excited about her full time teaching gig.

The last time they spoke was on Thursday.

"She was the happiest I had ever heard her," Budica said. "She had a full teaching load for fall, and she was dating someone and just really happy."

An email sent to the UHMC English Department by one of Egbert's colleagues, said she had a wonderful rapport with students and carried a genuine passion for teaching.

Egbert previously worked at Maui Jim Sunglasses for about four years.

Her boss said her charming smile and bubbly personality are what truly captivated others.

"She was wonderful and upbeat and you know the kind of people you like to work and hang with," said Bill Haywood, operations manager at Maui Jim. "Everything was coming completely together for this woman."

Egbert died at the hospital Saturday, after a man who police were chasing slammed head-on into her car on Kuihelani Highway.

Egbert is being remembered as a loving sister, daughter, aunt and friend.

Those who knew her best said she was an innocent angel gone too soon, but she will never be forgotten.

"You take a little piece of their heart and put it on your shirt and how you live by that, that's how you perpetuate someone's legacy," said Haywood. "You take what they did for you and you wear it, you live it."

Egbert is survived by her mom and three sisters.

Maui Police are still investigating the incident.

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