Driver's release upsets victim's kin


POSTED: Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The family of 23-year-old Emmergine Fuamoli, who was killed by a hit-and-run driver early Sunday morning, is upset police have released the suspected driver and another man who allegedly interfered with his arrest.

“;My daughter-in-law's life is taken away because of this driver, and we really need justice for that,”; said Opeta Fuamoli, the victim's mother-in-law and co-worker. “;If it wasn't for that driver, she would be alive today.”;

Fuamoli said she believes police should not have released the suspect because he committed a crime.

“;What if that same person is going to hit someone else?”; she asked. “;That kind of person should be behind bars.”;

The victim's husband, Fuavaa Fuamoli, 26, was driving their Nissan and arguing with his wife when she reportedly grabbed the steering wheel at about 4:20 a.m., causing the car to crash into the median while in the H-1 westbound lane. No one was injured in that crash, but when Emmergine Fuamoli stepped out of the car near the Pali overpass, she was hit by a speeding 2005 Honda sedan, police said.

The Honda's 36-year-old driver was found at about 6 a.m. and arrested on suspicion of leaving the scene of an accident and negligent homicide. Speed and alcohol on his part were factors in the fatal crash, police said.

A 20-year-old man driving a third vehicle was arrested for suspicion of interfering with the arrest and was also released.

Emmergine Fuamoli was taken to the Queen's Medical Center, where she later died.

She leaves behind her 2-year-old son, Vincent.