A grieving family joins with Maui police for a new campaign to deter impaired drivers

A grieving family joins with Maui police for a new campaign to deter impaired drivers

MAUI, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Maui County police say they’re alarmed by the high number of traffic fatalities in recent years, especially since most of the cases involved alcohol or drugs.

The Maui Police Department is now teaming up with the parents of a young victim in the hopes of sparing other families the same agony.

Maui police will partner with Mothers Against Drunk Driving to set up the 1st Annual Hannah Brown Impaired Driving Awareness Checkpoint on Nov. 22.

Nineteen-year-old Hannah Brown died on June 23, 2019 in a collision with a driver going the wrong way on Kuihelani Highway near Kahului.

In an instant, her family lost the joy and laughter that she brought to their lives.

“I was that parent that never think this was going to happen to me,” said her father, Everett Brown. “I died that day, too.”

Lt. William Hankins had to notify her family. With the holidays coming up, he is hoping to prevent more crashes and help save lives.

"This is the deadliest time of the year, traditionally, for traffic fatalities. We don't want any more on Maui. We're done. My crew is angry. They're tired of knocking on doors and delivering this horrific news," said Hankins.

Last year, there were 19 traffic-related deaths in Maui County. Police said 73% of the crashes involved alcohol or drugs.

In 2017, there were also 19 fatalities, with 94% of the cases involving impairment.

In 2016, there were 23 deaths, with intoxication a factor in 76% of the crashes.

Hannah Brown's parents are determined to make a difference by raising awareness through events like the impaired driver checkpoint in memory of their daughter.

"Nothing we say or do is ever going to bring her back. All we can hope is that no other family will ever have to go through the same pain we go through on a daily basis," said her mother, Charlene Brown.

The driver accused of killing Hannah was arrested for negligent homicide and driving under the influence. Lynsey Jio was released pending investigation, but police said prosecutors are now reviewing the case.

The Brown family also filed a civil lawsuit.

"(We're) just letting the lawyers handle everything, and the police department and the prosecutors do their job, and we're just going to have to hope for justice," said Charlene Brown.

MPD is also pushing for legislative changes, such as lowering the state’s blood alcohol content limit from .08 to .05.

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