MOKULEIA (HawaiiNewsNow) - Fighting back tears, Lisa Hyatt remembered her father getting a head start on planning for the holidays.
“All of our family is coming here for Christmas. My dad was already thinking what size prime rib we need to get and where were going out for dinner and now we’re going to do that this year without him because someone was careless when they were driving and they killed him and they left,” she said.
Her father, 76-year-old Eugene Chin became Oahu’s 52nd traffic-related fatality Sunday morning in a heartbreaking hit-and-run crash in Mokuleia.
Chin was out walking his dog around 7 a.m. when a driver of a white sedan hit him and fled the scene. The crash prompted a closure of Farrington Highway and an investigation.
Police believe they found the vehicle nearby shortly after, and took the driver into custody. HPD said speed and alcohol may have been factors.
“Love your family and tell them how much you love and appreciate them because you never know what’s going to happen the next day,” Hyatt said.
“Everybody needs to drive with aloha and care and consideration. Drivers really need to be looking out for everybody else on the road and not be in such a rush to get everywhere,” she added.
Visibly heartbroken, Chin’s family remembers him as a caring doctor and a kind man who was passionate about his work at the Ko’olauloa Health Center. Chin leaves behind a wife, his daughter and three grandchildren.
The Hawaii Department of Transportation recently reported an 84 percent increase in pedestrian fatalities compared to last year.
“We are sky rocketing this year compared to previous years so the department is working diligently to bring those numbers down. Obviously it’s going to be a multi-part effort on the pedestrian side as well as the driver's side,” said HPD Traffic Lt. James Slayter.
There was one other traffic death this weekend: A man lying in a driveway near the Queen’s Medical Center died after he was hit by a car.
Records show there have been 86 traffic-related fatalities statewide since January, not including this weekend’s deaths. Of those, at least 28 were pedestrian deaths. That’s seven times more than the same time period last year in which there were only four pedestrian deaths.