Wrongful death lawsuit filed against driver and company in fatal pedestrian crash

Wrongful death lawsuit filed against driver and company in fatal pedestrian crash

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The family of a woman struck and killed by a tour bus near Ala Moana Center has filed a wrongful death lawsuit.

On February 23rd, police said Jui Ching-Hu was crossing Mahukona Street in a marked crosswalk when Vao Tauanuu turned the corner and hit her.

She died instantly. It was her 65th birthday.

The lawsuit, filed April 6, claims Tauanuu and Travel Plaza Transportation (TPT), the company that owns the bus, "disregarded the safety of others, and operated the bus in a dangerous, reckless and unsafe manner."

"A woman has died," said Michael Cruise, attorney for the Hu family. "A family has lost a wife and a mom and they have real concerns that this company does not take public safety seriously."

TPT said the 51-year-old driver had no prior incidents on his record, but the lawsuit claims Tauanuu was previously cited for speeding and running a stop sign in the last two years. Both cases were dismissed in court.

"It's a real concern that they'd have a guy who has gotten these kinds of tickets, even if he got off, that are dangerous things to do on the road then put him behind the wheel of a gigantic bus," said Cruise.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Adminstration, TPT received more than 50 violations in the last two years for not properly maintaining its vehicles.

"All sorts of things including brakes, tires, and lights," Cruise said. "Things that are important for public safety."

As the investigation continues, the Hu family is trying to find a new normal. They want to make sure no other family goes through the same tragedy.

"I just hope that now that this has happened to my mom, that we can somehow figure out how we can completely prevent this," said Stella Hu, the victim's eldest daughter.

Travel Plaza Transportation offered no additional comment.

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