HICKAM AIR FORCE BASE (KHNL) -- The family of an Air Force Major, who was killed in a hit-and-run crash near the Honolulu International Airport over the weekend, is pleading for the driver to come forward.
This is the first time family members have talked about their sudden loss.
John Jackson was living his dream when he began serving his country.
"He wanted to be in the Air Force from the time he was four years old," Kathleen Jackson, victim's mother, said through tears. "And it was the proudest moment of his life."
But a van plowed into Major Jackson and his 18-year-old step-son, as they stood outside a car preparing to tow a motorcycle. It happened under the airport viaduct Saturday.
Police are still looking for the van's driver, who ran away from the scene.
"I just want to know why and how somebody could just leave us there," Suzanne Jackson, victim's wife, said through tears.
Step-son Michael Quintero says he's recovering from a bruised kidney and a fractured pelvis.
Suzanne Jackson, who suffered a broken thumb and bruises in the crash, says she can't close her eyes without recalling her husband gurgling as he struggled to breathe.
"All I could say was I loved you, and you promised you would be around," she said.
The 36-year-old was serving as chief of the Northeast Asia Region Branch, and was considered an expert on China and Taiwan affairs.
"He was a dedicated member of the Air Force. He was a loyal, loyal friend and loyal family member," Maj. Sean Oswalt, victim's friend, said. "And what's happened is a tragic, horrible thing."
The physical wounds will soon heal. But the emotional ones will take some time.
The Major was up for promotion to Lieutenant Colonel. Air Force officials say they're hoping to promote him posthumously.