There will be an empty seat at graduation for teen fighting for her life after pedestrian crash

Parents say teen still in critical condition after being hit in Pearl City crosswalk

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Victoria Arellano is a senior at Waipahu High School. She's supposed to be graduating with her class next week, then attending college in the fall.

Instead, the 17-year-old is fighting for her life at the Queen’s Medical Center after being struck while trying to cross the street in Pearl City.

"It's altered our life tremendously," said Gerry Arellano, Victoria's father.

The teen was hit around 9 p.m. Tuesday.

Police say a 49-year-old man was driving south on Waimano Home Road when he overtook a vehicle that had stopped and plowed into Victoria, who was crossing the roadway near Kuahaka Street.

She was taken to the hospital in critical condition.

"All her broken bones, all her fractures. Let's face it, she's still my daughter, but she won't be the same," said Gerry Arellano.

Victoria's parents say they are overwhelmed with sadness and anger, knowing their daughter has been robbed of her future.

While Victoria's road to recovery is long and uncertain, they say she has started responding to voice commands.

"I told her please squeeze my hand to say 'I love you' to me and she did," said Raquel Arellano, Victoria's mother. "And it was so tight. So tight. So I told her hang in there, we'll go home soon."

Police say speed, drugs, or alcohol do not appear to be factors in the crash.

The family says the intersection is well lit, but there are no pedestrian crossing signs.

They say the 35 mph speed limit should be lowered and drivers need to be aware of their surroundings.

"This is just happening too much here in Hawaii. Every month we have somebody that's being run over. A car is a deadly weapon. Let's just look at it that way," said Gerry Arellano.

Keith Hayashi, principal of Waipahu High School, says they plan to have an empty seat open for Victoria at the graduation ceremony, and her classmates are planning to bring her diploma to the hospital.

“A yearbook is also being passed around campus for students to sign and write well wishes,” said Hayashi. “We are all praying for her.”

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