Police investigating moped death in Kalihi

Published On: Jan 27 2013 02:17:00 PM HST

Honolulu police are investigating a collision that killed a 17-year-old Kalihi teenager on a moped.

The crash happened on Kalihi St. and Machado St. just before 11:30 p.m. Saturday.

Friends of the teen, who they identified as Francisco Hufana, gathered at the site of the crash Saturday morning.  Most of them came on mopeds, bringing flowers, candles and tears.
 "A moped was riding up north on Kalihi St. approaching Machado St. when a Lexus pulled out, making a left turn in front of it from Machado onto Kalihi and they both collided," said Lt. Bobby Towne, HPD Traffic Homicide division.
Nadeen Lane lives a few feet from the intersection and heard the crash.
"I asked my grandson to call 911 because by the sound of the impact, I knew it was pretty tragic," said Lane. She said she saw the motionless boy on the ground.
"I really couldn't do anything. All I did was knelt down and prayed over him," said Lane.
Police said Hufana was not wearing a helmet when he collided with the Lexus. The driver of the car wasn't hurt, but two passengers in his car were taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

Family said Hufana graduated from the C-Base program through the Farrington Community School for Adults and loved working on mopeds.  Friends described Hufana as fun-loving and what he may have lacked in height, he made up for in fearlessness.
"There was always a smile on his face. No matter the situation, he'd always crack a joke," said Joven Carranza, a friend of Hufana.
According to friends, Hufana was working on his moped Saturday night in preparation for a memorial ride Sunday morning for another friend who was killed in a moped accident two years ago.
Fellow moped riders gather annually to remember Gerald Baltazar, 17, who was died January 23, 2010 when police said he ran a stop sign in Manoa and broadsided a car.  Friends said this year's ride now would now take on twice the sadness.
"(Cisco) was always such a happy guy, always stayed positive. This was not his time," said Reno Rivera, a friend of Hufana since middle school.
Police said speed and alcohol do not appear to be factors for the driver of the Lexus, but they're still investigating whether Hufana may have been at fault.

This is the 7th traffic fatality on Oahu, compared to four at the same time last year.


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