(KHNL) It's a tough time for Noriki Lee, who at 9 years old, is showing a brave face. Just days ago, a car crash on the Moanalua Freeway claimed the life of his mother. Today, he's paying his respects at her funeral service.
"She took good care of me and my brothers and sisters," said Lee.
Family and friends gathered to remember Chikako Iwakiri. At her service, her husband spoke in Korean, saying he would try to fulfill his wife's hopes and dreams.
"Trying to take care of the young children, so they will grow up to be the kind of people she wanted them to be," said husband Jung Min Lee.
Investigators say early Wednesday morning, Renee Champ was driving in the wrong direction of the freeway. That's when her vehicle collided with the car Iwakiri was driving. Iwakiri was on her way to work.
Champ was 20 years old and in the last trimester of her pregnancy. According to an autopsy report, she had a blood alcohol level that was three times the legal limit. The crash took the lives of both women.
"Very very hardworking, very funny, very positive and she really took care of other brothers and sisters," said Rev. Ernie Ho. Noriki says his three younger siblings are too young to know what's going on. But when they're older, he'll try to comfort them with this message about their mom.
"That she's still with us, she's not really dead," said Noriki.