Makaha man arrested in fatal hit-and-run pedestrian accident

Published: May. 31, 2015 at 2:08 PM HST|Updated: Jun. 2, 2015 at 5:17 AM HST
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MAKAHA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A woman is killed and her granddaughter is seriously hurt after a hit-and-run pedestrian accident in Makaha early Sunday morning.

“It was a very loud bang, loud squeaky, like burning rubber tires," said Anuilagi Agunoy.

"There was this one car that kept weaving in and out of traffic going onto the oncoming car lanes…next thing you know, when we came around Keaau, there was everybody stopping suddenly and we saw the lady and her granddaughter on the ground," said Waianae resident Chelsea Rayno.

Police say 21-year-old Vince Kalaola was driving east on Farrington Highway near Keaau Beach Park when his vehicle left the roadway, striking two pedestrians who were walking on the shoulder. Officials say Kalaola continued driving and fled the scene.

Authorities arrested Kalaola at his residence on Manuku Street shortly after 6 a.m. He was arrested for accidental death, DUI, and first-degree negligent homicide. He was later released pending investigation, according to police.

A 57-year-old woman was pronounced dead at the scene, and a 13-year-old girl was seriously injured, according to Emergency Medical Services.

“She wasn't really talking, I think she was in shock. She was just crying and screaming. She was hovering over her grandma the whole time, she didn't want to leave her,” Rayno said.

"Just sitting there right next to her grandma crying, crying for her grandma. She kept yelling out for her, ‘Grandma! Grandma!' But she was no response," Agunoy said.

Friends of the victim say the woman is Gail Peeples of Makaha who was very sweet and loved her grandkids very much and took care of them.

The caretaker for

Friends for Life Hawaii

, a no-kill animal rescue and adoption facility, said Peeples, her husband and grandchildren had been living at the facility for about three years.

"I would just say to send my condolences to her and her family and it's unfortunate that it happened to her. Being at a young age I don't know how she can bear with that, especially with what she saw," said Rayno.

HPD closed a portion of Farrington Hwy. shortly before 5:30 a.m. while they conducted their investigation. All lanes were reopened at 9:13 a.m.

High speed was a contributing factor in this incident, according to HPD.

This is the 23rd fatality this year, compared to 25 at the same time last year.

Donations for funeral arrangements for the Peeples family can be dropped off at

Friends for Life Hawaii

at 83-592 Farrington Hwy.

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