Hit-and-run victim was expert on Asia
Maj. John W. Jackson died from his injuries from a hit-and-run
The 36-year-old man who died after a hit-and-run on Nimitz Highway on Saturday was an Air Force major who was brought to Hawaii for his expertise in Northeast Asia.
Maj. John W. Jackson had also been selected for promotion to lieutenant colonel, said his supervisor, Col. Rafael Quezada, adding his promotion will be sought posthumously.
He served as the China-Taiwan regional affairs strategist and chief of the Northeast Asia Region branch with Pacific Air Forces Headquarters at Hickam Air Force Base.
"He had a very bright career ahead of him," Quezada said. "He was a funny person at work, very jovial and just a great person. We're going to miss his personality, his expertise and his friendship. I know his family is missing him terribly already. I can even say his dog is missing him."
Jackson was riding his motorcycle when it broke down on Nimitz under the viaduct.
His 40-year-old wife of four years, Suzanne, received a call from him at about 2:30 a.m. and she and son Michael Quintero, 18, went to help.
Jackson and Quintero were attaching a motorcycle trailer to the back of a car when a 2002 Chevy van struck them and rear-ended the trailer.
Suzanne Jackson was seated in the passenger seat of the car with her legs hanging out at the time. She suffered cuts and bruises injuries and was taken to the Queen's Medical Center, where she was treated and released, according to Quezada.
Jackson was taken in critical condition to Queen's, where he died Sunday.
Quintero, who was taken to Queen's in serious condition, remains hospitalized.
According to Quezada, Quintero said they had just hitched up the trailer when the vehicle came at them at high speed, swerving from the next lane.
"It looked as if it was almost intentional," Quezada said.
The car had its flashing lights on, Jackson was wearing a reflective vest and there were no cars in the other two lanes, Quezada said.
After the impact, the van veered off the roadway, and the driver fled on foot and remains at large, police said.
The family is "really hoping that this person who is cowardly enough to walk away from it would reflect on his actions would have some sort of conscience to come forward," Quezada said.
Jackson was a key player in planning Gen. Paul Hester's trip to China in July, the first trip to China by a Pacific Air Forces commander, Quezada said.
An electrical engineer, Jackson obtained his master's degree in Far East studies from the Naval Postgraduate School in 2005 and reported to Hickam on Jan. 1, 2006.
Quezada said he was an outstanding, trusted worker.
Jackson's mother and sister have flown to Hawaii from Pennsylvania. He is also survived by a stepdaughter, Breeana, 15, Quezada said.