A Nanakuli family is mourning the loss of a 19-year-old killed in a pedestrian crash Sunday evening.
The Honolulu medical examiner identified him as Kaulana Werner.
According to police, the crash happened at the intersection of Farrington Highway and Pohakunui Avenue shortly after 8:30 p.m. on April 24.
Police say Myisha-Lee Armitage, 22, was driving east on Farrington at a high rate of speed when her vehicle struck Werner, who was crossing the road outside of a marked crosswalk.
Emergency Medical Services said Werner was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police say speed and alcohol are factors in the crash.
Armitage, who is from Ewa Beach, was arrested Sunday night for DUI and accidental death. She has since been released pending further investigation, which is standard in these types of investigations.
This is Oahu’s 14th traffic fatality this year, compared to 17 the same time last year.
Family and friends describe Werner as an amazing young man who brought joy to everyone around him.
Dozens gathered Monday at a makeshift memorial, trying to make sense of how such a tragedy could happen.
“It’s sad. I understand that God needs an angel, but we also needed him here with us. It’s not fair,” said Ainahau Bajet, Werner’s godmother.
Family members claim Werner’s body was dragged for about a block, and they found him directly across from the family home.
“Only midday, we just found his wallet and his backpack and his slipper ended up on the driveway over there, where his family lives, where our families (live), and it just really feels like a nightmare,” Bajet said.
Werner played football for Kamehameha Schools and graduated last year.
The family says he was going to school in Kansas, but came back and wanted to continue his education at University of Hawaii so he could look after his parents.
“He was going to take care of them,” said Bajet. “That’s the saddest part is that he was on the right track. He was such a remarkable young man and his life was just robbed. It’s so unfortunate.”
She said Werner excelled in all sports that he played and, even at such a young age, he proved to be a leader both on and off the field.
“That’s the hardest part about this whole thing is that I won’t be able to hear his voice again,” she said. “I mean, I can tell him I love and I know that he does love us back as well, but to hear his voice is something I would give anything in the world to hear one more time.”