Families of 3 crash victims mourn loved ones who did so much in life — and had so much yet to accomplish

(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
Published: Jan. 30, 2019 at 5:59 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - They were cut down in an instant — and in the primes of their lives.

An anesthesiologist out on a run as he trained for a marathon. A 26-year-old film and music producer enjoying an evening out with his friends. A Japanese woman on vacation in the islands.

The three pedestrians killed when a pickup truck lost control and plowed through a traffic island Monday night are being remembered for all that they did in life — and for all they had left to accomplish.

“He touched so many people and brought a lot of people together because of his creative energy,” said Alex Favin, a colleague and longtime friend of 26-year-old Casimir G. Pokorny, who was among those killed.

Casimir Pokorny was one of three pedestrians killed Monday when a truck lost control and plowed...
Casimir Pokorny was one of three pedestrians killed Monday when a truck lost control and plowed through a traffic island. (Image: Family)

Pokorny was vacationing in Hawaii from Pennsylvania and was standing with his girlfriend when he was fatally struck.

“It’s like the loss of a family member," Favin said.

[Read more: Driver of truck that plowed into group of pedestrians, killing 3, faces manslaughter charges]

[Read more: They were walking to the beach to watch the sunset. They never made it]

Also in the traffic island, two of Pokorny’s good friends, including Manoa resident Lianna McCurdy.

McCurdy said the group had had a great day ― “literally, the best day.”

They were rounding it off with a walk to the beach, where they planned to watch the sunset. They never got there.

McCurdy was hit, too, but said she never saw the truck coming.

She only felt and heard and smelled the aftermath. She remains at the hospital with a fractured spine, bleeding on her brain and kidneys, and damage to her lungs.

She told Hawaii News Now from her hospital bed that she still hasn’t come to grips with what happened.

“I can’t make sense of it,” she said.

Police are still investigating what led up to the crash, but authorities said speed and alcohol are almost certainly factors and the 27-year-old driver ― Alins Sumang ― was also apparently trying to evade police.

Sumang remains in the hospital, too, where he was taken in serious condition after the crash. He’s also been arrested on three counts of manslaughter and could face other charges.

In the meantime, the Lau family is planning a funeral.

Dr. William Travis Lau was among the pedestrians killed. He was out on a run on Monday night, training for a marathon in California this weekend that he’d hope he could do well enough in to qualify for the Boston Marathon.

Dr. William Travis Lau was among those killed Monday night when a truck plowed into a group of...
Dr. William Travis Lau was among those killed Monday night when a truck plowed into a group of pedestrians in Kakaako. (Image: Family)

Lau’s father, whose name is also William, said the family is still in shock.

The family knew something was wrong Monday evening when he didn’t answer his phone. “We called the police and started putting two and two together,” William Lau said.

Lau said his son was someone just about anybody could look up to.

After graduating from Iolani School, he went off to college then medical school ― Tufts University ― where he specialized in anesthesiology.

The doctor worked for Pacific Anesthesia, and was an anesthesiologist for open heart surgeries at several Oahu hospitals, including the Queen’s Medical Center and Pali Momi.

Three years ago, he was married. And he and his wife, Melissa, were thinking about starting a family.

William Lau said he what he misses most about his son is “just his presence.”

“He was always nice to be around,” he said.

Favin, who is mourning Pokorny, said the two had known each other since they were 12 or 13.

He described his friend as a “brilliant creative talent” who made music and films. After his vacation in the islands with his girlfriend, Pokorny was set to head to the Sundance Film Festival, where a film he had a hand in is showing.

“We had four friends standing at that intersection,” said Favin, "and one of them is never coming home.”

The third pedestrian killed in the crash has been identified as a 47-year-old visitor from Japan.

The Consulate General of Japan said she was from Saitama prefecture.

This story will be updated.

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