Bereft dog owner seeks witness to canine's death


POSTED: Friday, June 04, 2010

QUESTION: At about 7:20 p.m. May 27, my service dog was killed by a woman driving a red truck on Smith Street, between Nimitz Highway and King Street. The truck was traveling mauka, and I was walking on the Koko Head side of the street. In order to be able to claim my service dog for replacement, the insurance company needs more information. If any witnesses could contact me ASAP, I would really appreciate their help. Can you please help me locate anyone who could help?

ANSWER: “;Kokua Line”; generally does not post requests for witnesses to accidents, but this case caught our attention.

Patrick Waring said his dog, Tahj, a 16-pound Australian terrier, had apparently tripped and fallen off the curb, but “;was not in the middle of the road,”; when he was struck and killed by the speeding truck.

Despite being chased by one of several witnesses, the driver sped away through a red light, he said.

“;I was just hoping to get the witness who didn't stay for the police, as they are not pursuing it because the license as we wrote it down is not a valid number,”; said Waring, an adjunct instructor at Hawaii Pacific University.

He said police classified the incident as “;fled the scene of a property damage accident.”;

The Honolulu Police Department confirmed that the driver could be cited under Section 291C-15 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes, “;Duty upon striking unattended vehicle or other property.”;

That's because a dog is considered property, said HPD Maj. Thomas Nitta of the Traffic Division.

The misdemeanor violation carries a fine of $247.

If a driver does not stop “;and there is no (apparent) damage upon locating the vehicle,”; it is left to an officer's discretion whether to file a motor vehicle collision report, he said.

“;The tragedy is my dog (being killed), but the reality is that my dog could have been a toddler,”; Waring said, noting there are many children, pets and seniors in the area.

“;Tahj was priceless,”; he said, and he's dealing with that loss but also wanted to call attention to the dangers of cars turning off Nimitz Highway at high speed in the area.

If you have any information, call Waring at 221-8770.

QUESTION: Can you tell us again how we can get those “;Live Aloha”; bumper stickers?

ANSWER: Send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to Live Aloha, 165 Waokanaka Place, Honolulu 96817.

The stickers are free, but donations are welcome to help cover the cost of printing. Checks, which should be made out to “;Live Aloha,”; are then forwarded to the Hawaii Community Foundation to administer.

The stickers were envisioned by a group of Hawaii residents in the mid-1990s as a way to promote self-responsibility in making Hawaii a better place.

When we last wrote about the stickers——more than 600,000 of them had been printed.

“;We are working our way through another 60,000 since we last talked,”; said Robbie Alm, one of the founders of the informal movement.

The orders are “;very steady,”; he said, with at least one request on most days.