Family of Fatal Crash Victim Asks that She Be Remembered with Love
Hannah Brown was a hula dancing, canoe paddling, zip-lining, adventurous and active soul according to her parents, Charlene and Everett.
Sitting in their Happy Valley driveway, the couple recalled how their 19-year-old middle child and only daughter wanted to travel the world and do everything.
For the Brown ʻohana, every day of Hannah’s life was a blessing.
“Everything was my favorite memory,” said Charlene. “We called her gypsy because she did whatever she wanted to.”
“Every time I see her she was always just so excited,” Everett said. “She screamed DADDDDDYYY … probably the biggest thing I’m going to miss.”
Hannah was killed early Sunday when the Honda she was a passenger in was struck by a 2016 Subaru Forester, which was and traveling in the wrong lane when the accident occurred at around 1:27 a.m., three miles north of Honoapiʻilani Highway in Kahului.
Police arrested the driver of the Subaru, 23-year-old Lynsey Jio of Kula, for first degree negligent homicide, and operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. Jio has since been released pending investigation.
Hannah’s boyfriend, Jesse Arias, was driving the Honda on the night of the crash. He said even after he saw the oncoming vehicle he tried turning left and right but the other car kept mirroring his movements.
After the collision he tried waking Hannah up but she didn’t respond. Arias said he flagged down the first vehicle for help and at some point ended up sitting next to Jio on the curb.
“I just didn’t know what to say except ‘why were you in my lane?'” he recalled. “I kept repeating over and over ‘you killed my girlfriend.’
…I might be still in shock, I think we all are…I’ve already cried out my heart.”
Sunday’s crash was the 11th traffic fatality for Maui County this year, compared to four at the same time last year. The Maui Police Department said there does not appear to be any one reason why fatal crash statistics are up this year.
“The numbers statewide are up,” said MPD Lt. William Hankins, Traffic Section Commander. “There’s lots more people on the road that are not making the right choices – may it be speed, seat belts or alcohol.
The victims are doing things right. Those responsible should have never been on the road.”
The Browns want people to know that Hannah cared about people, and that while she had many interests she planned on being a suicide prevention specialist because she wanted to help people after she lost a close friend to suicide.
“She really wanted to help people, wanted to babysit everyone’s kids, really one of a kind,” her mother said.
Friends and family all say what happened to Hannah can happen to anyone. Even though she and her boyfriend weren’t drinking, they were affected by those who were.
“I hope that everybody else learns from this,” Charlene said. “Encourage your friends, take their keys away, do something, it’s not worth it.”
Hannah’s family has started a GoFundMe account in her name.