Family remembers teen killed in hit-and-run
Victim’s dad calls driver in hit-and-run ‘a coward’
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Army Staff Sgt. David Wayne Aldridge placed flowers yesterday at a spot outside Wahiawa where his 18-year-old son was fatally injured Tuesday by a hit-and-run driver.
Aldridge had with him his 3-year-old daughter, Destiny Allyson, who called her brother, David Wayne Aldridge II, "bubby."
They adored each other, their father said.
Destiny Allyson asked, "Daddy, what are we doing here? Why are you leaving flowers?"
"This was where the angels came and got your bubby," the elder Aldridge told his daughter.
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On Tuesday, Army Staff Sgt. David Wayne Aldridge was fishing on vacation in the Gulf of Mexico when he received a phone call from his superior, wondering what he was doing on a bicycle after 1 a.m. near Wahiawa and whether he was OK after the accident.
"Then I knew," said the 17-year Army veteran, who arrived back on Oahu yesterday morning. "They're not talking about me. They're talking about him."
Aldridge's son, David Wayne Aldridge II, died of multiple blunt force injuries Tuesday morning after he was struck by a hit-and-run driver in front of Dole Plantation near Wahiawa.
Police are looking for a red flatbed truck suspected of hitting the 18-year-old Leilehua High School graduate.
"The least you could've done was stop and assist, instead of run like a coward," the father said about the hit-and-run driver. "I hope that you turn yourself in or your conscience eats at you forever."
The son, who turned 18 last month, worked at Burger King at Schofield Barracks and was riding his bicycle after work toward his home at Helemano Military Reservation on Monday night.
Police said that before 1:35 a.m. Tuesday he was struck from behind by a red truck that continued toward the North Shore without stopping. He was wearing a helmet and was traveling on the shoulder of the road.
The truck was believed to have been speeding. Police said the truck should have extensive front-end damage, and ask anyone who has seen it to call police.
"They told me he was brain-dead when he was hit, so perhaps he didn't feel anything," the father said. "They don't know how long he was laying out there, basically."
The son was transported to Wahiawa General Hospital and was transferred later to the Queen's Medical Center, where he died hours later.
He is also survived by his stepmother Susanne Aldridge, mother Crystal Aldridge and sisters Candace and Destiny Allyson.
The elder Aldridge visited the accident site yesterday morning to leave flowers and pointed out pieces of glass to police investigators at the scene.
The elder Aldridge was stationed in Hawaii in November. He is expected to go on his third deployment to Iraq soon, and the family was going to move to Germany.
Aldridge said it concerned him that his son would sometimes ride his bike from work to home. The parents would not always let him.
"Usually my wife would not allow him to, but he really wanted to that night," he said. "He wanted to hang out with some friends. We figured, he was 18. It was just a freak accident."
The teenager worked almost full time at Burger King because he had aspirations to own a wrestling federation. He also wanted to be a rapper.
"He used to say, 'If I can't be a rapper, I'll make Hallmark cards,'" said friend Cristian De Leon, who spoke to the teen on the phone hours before he was killed.
De Leon said that at 10:44 p.m. the younger Aldridge called him to ask for his sister, Aldridge's ex-girlfriend. He also talked about his "obsession with Pete Wentz," the bass player of rock band Fall Out Boy.
"When I heard he died, I didn't want to believe it. I was just talking to him," said the 14-year-old friend.
The younger Aldridge was nicknamed "McLovin," after the character in the film "Superbad." His father said he was surprised at how popular he had become at school, despite not having gone there for a year.
But he knew his son was not a "partygoer," nor did he do drugs or drink alcohol. He was home many times, doing chores for his parents and taking care of his sister.
"He was a level-minded teenager, which is rare nowadays," the father said. "His family and friends were his main occupation. ... We miss my son very much."