Accident victim's homelessness was painful issue for her family


POSTED: Thursday, March 26, 2009

Delia T. Molina, who lived under the Nimitz Highway viaduct, often told her sister about the close calls she experienced darting across the busy highway.

“;Every time she talked to my mom, she would tell her how she almost got hit,”; said nephew Henry Dela Cruz.

Family members urged her to use the crosswalk, but she refused.

On Monday, Molina was hit by a multipurpose vehicle as she crossed from the mauka side of the viaduct. The 55-year-old died at a hospital from severe head and body injuries, officials said.

“;Everybody's still in shock that it was her,”; said Donny Molina, her oldest son.

Molina, 33, said his mother changed after his father died in 2003, and lived on the street because she wanted to be with someone.

“;She found somebody else. She wanted to stay with that person,”; he said. He blames himself for his mother's choices and had been trying to persuade her to return to her sister's house in Palama.

“;I'm still trying to get over it,”; he said. “;(It was) hard enough for me to lose my dad. When I lost my mom — I'm taking it much harder.”;

Yesterday he spent part of the day cleaning up her belongings from the place she had been living. Although he and his mother grew distant and they had not spoken in about a year, Molina flew to Honolulu from Maui as soon as he could.

“;I just wanted to say goodbye if she wasn't going to make it, but I didn't have the chance,”; Molina said.

He said his mother tried to remain in touch with her 17-year-old son, who currently lives with a foster family, and tried to call him every day.

Born in the Philippines, Molina came to Hawaii with her late husband, Alfredo. She worked at Dole Cannery and at the time of the accident was a housekeeper at Aqua Waikiki Wave.

“;I just thank God she's in a better place right now,”; Donny Molina said. “;She's with my dad right now.”;

He remembered his mother's generosity and kindness.

“;She was with me when I got married,”; he said. “;She was telling me just take care of her (his wife), be good to her.”;

She had a good heart, said her nephew. She took care of others in the homeless community and fed them.

Molina is survived by her two sons, Donny and Darren, her mother on Maui, and five sisters and one brother who live in Hawaii.

Molina's death is the third pedestrian fatality on Oahu so far this year.