The teenage boy who was killed in a Big Island motorcycle crash on Monday has been identified as a Honokaa High School student who was just beginning a promising basketball career, friends and family members say.
Authorities believe 15-year-old Aukai Ahuna was riding a dirt bike on Pikake Street at around 3 p.m. when he lost control and was thrown from the motorcycle. He was then struck by a 2006 Ford truck, police say.
The boy was taken to the North Hawaii Community Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead. Police say Ahuna was wearing a helmet, but speed appears to have been a factor in the crash.
Ahuna, according to the basketball coach at Honokaa High School, was a junior varsity hoops player who figured to be heavily involved with the varsity team next season.
"Aukai Ahuna was an awesome young man. Spontaneous, care free, high energy, loving individual, great athlete, always smiling and having fun," said Coach Jayme Carvalho. "He will be missed."
The boy's mother issued the following statement on Tuesday:
Aukai loved his family and friends deeply. He enjoyed so many things.....dirt bike, basketball, football, hunting and playing his ukulele. He was there for everyone and anyone at any time. He had the kindest heart.