HPD: Still no arrest made after deadly Kunia hit-and-run

Friends and family plead for driver who hit Kunia man to come forward

KUNIA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - At Manh Dinh's Kunia home, flowers frame a photograph of his friend, Meechok Chanphut.

"He'll be missed," Dinh said.

Early Tuesday morning, the vegetable farmer's dead body was found on the shoulder of Kunia Road. Police said he was struck by a hit-and-run driver.

"He always was a humble guy. No make trouble to nobody. Do his own thing. Mind his own business," Dinh said.

Dinh said he took Chanphut in after he fell on hard times.

Chanphut's wife lives in Thailand. The couple has a daughter and son.

Yootthana Chanphut said he hadn't spoken with his father for months.

"It's a sad story. I love him. I didn't know this was going to happen," he said.

Based on vehicle debris found at the scene, police believe Meechok Chanphut was hit by a 1997 Ford vehicle.

"We're asking the public if you see a Ford Expedition or an F150 or F250 truck missing the passenger headlight as well as the side mirror housing, give us a call at CrimeStoppers at 955-8300. They stay completely anonymous and they're eligible for a reward up to $1,000," Sgt. Chris Kim said.

Dinh's upset the driver fled and hasn't come forward. As of Saturday, Honolulu police reported no arrests in connection with the accident.

"Somebody that they killed got a family," he said. "I just want them to take responsibility for it."

Dinh said Chanphut was dressed in black when he left his home Monday night to walk to Walmart. There are no streetlights where the accident happened.

"He didn't have a car. I think he went to go buy a cigarette out there and he just got hit," Yootthana Chanphut said.

Years ago, Chanphut was part of a discrimination lawsuit against labor recruiting company Global Horizons, Inc. and four Hawaii farms. Dinh said his friend was still waiting to collect his share of the settlement.

When Chanphut's own farm went under, he worked for other farmers. It was a hard life, he said, that ended tragically.

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