WAIANAE, Hawaii (AP) – A 3-year-old boy was killed and four of his family members were badly injured after a suspected drunk driver slammed into the West Oahu bus stop where they were sitting, police said.
The family, for which police had no local address, is apparently homeless. The boy, his mother, two sisters and a brother were waiting at the Makaha beach bus stop Wednesday night as the father was across the street setting up their camp for the night, KITV reported. The father and a 1-year-old boy were not injured.
The medical examiner’s office identified the boy as Ashton Brown and said he died from multiple traumatic injuries. He was pronounced dead at the scene while emergency workers rushed an 11-year-old girl in critical condition to a Honolulu hospital, along with an 8-year-old girl and a 4-year-old boy who were in serious condition. The mother, 41, was in guarded condition, police said.
The driver of a Honda Accord who fled the scene was later arrested at a nearby 7-Eleven store on suspicion of negligent homicide and driving under the influence of alcohol. Police also suspect speed was a factor.
The bus stop sits mere feet from Farrington Highway in an area known for speeding motorists. Leeward Coast residents spent Thursday morning stopping by the bus stop, with its knocked over shelter, to drop off stuffed animals, balloons and flowers and bemoan the dangerous driving that leads to tragedies.
The driver was headed east when he lost control near Kili Drive and veered off the road into the bus stop, police said.
Analia Barboza, who lives next to the crash site, told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser she heard what sounded like an exploding tree and rushed out. She said a woman who arrived found one of the girls in the brush behind the bus stop.
“Every time I close my eyes, I see them,” Barboza said.
A niece of the suspect also stopped by the crash site Thursday.
“My uncle is not a bad person,” she told Hawaii News Now, adding that he’s a grandfather who had recently been paroled. “From my family’s heart, we are so sorry.”
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