Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Lowella Duque, widow of Julio Duque Jr., cried yesterday at the police station between her sons Joshua, left, and Julio III. Julio Jr. was killed Jan. 2 in a hit-and-run accident.

Van involved in
fatality is sought

The family of a man killed in a
hit-and run crash appeals for help

Every day, after work driving a delivery truck, Julio Duque Jr. came home in time for supper with his wife and four children.

But just before supper time on Jan. 2, Duque was getting out of his light-blue pickup truck on Kaamilo Street while running an errand in Aiea and was struck by a gold Mazda van traveling mauka. Witnesses said the driver fled without stopping.

Duque, 40, was taken to the Queen's Medical Center, where he died.

"We miss him 'cause every night we eat together at supper," said his widow, Lowella, 39, sobbing yesterday. "How we going to go on, (with) one of us missing?"

Duque, her children and her sister-in-law made a public plea yesterday for help in finding the driver who killed her husband. The driver faces a possible negligent-homicide charge, with up to 20 years in prison.

Police determined from the van grille recovered at the accident scene that the vehicle was a 1993-95 three-door hatchback Mazda MPV van, "elegant beige" in color, also known as gold or champagne. The van may have sustained damage to the front right side, including the headlight.

The information is helping police find the van, said CrimeStoppers Detective Letha DeCaires.

Police are using forensic evidence and city computer data. "Don't be surprised if you get a call (from police) if you have a Mazda MPV," DeCaires said.

Police are also asking auto body repair shops and auto parts dealers to report any van with similar damage.

Julio Duque had no life insurance and was the sole breadwinner in his family. The family could not pay rent and has moved in with his brother, said friend Fely Carag.

Duque had moved to Hawaii in 1975 from the Philippines. He and his family lived on Maui, then sold their house early last year and moved back to the Philippines. He returned to Hawaii in March and brought his family a few months ago.

Duque was close to sons Julio III, 12, and Joshua, 10, and daughter Jessica, 5. But he and his eldest son, Jeffrey, 13, were especially close, often going fishing together, Carag said.

The night before the accident, Duque taught Jeffrey to make a fishing net.

When Jeffrey learned of the accident, "the first thing he said was, 'I'll finish this for you, Dad,' and he just hugged the net," Carag said.

Anyone with information is asked to call officer Val Chun at 529-3526 or make anonymous calls to CrimeStoppers at 955-8300 or *CRIME on cell phones.

Honolulu Police Department Crimestoppers

E-mail to City Desk


Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
© 2004 Honolulu Star-Bulletin --