Youn-Chen Hu knew immediately that something was wrong when he arrived home from work Thursday and his wife was not there.
It was Jui-Ching Hu’s 65th birthday and she and her husband planned to celebrate with dinner together at their Waikiki home, according to Hawaii News Now. Youn-Chen Hu, a custodian at an elementary school, grew uneasy when he found the house empty.
“There were no lights on and the answering machine light was beeping,” Youn-Chen Hu told Hawaii News Now.
The first message was from someone in the Honolulu Medical Examiner’s Office, but Hu couldn’t make out what the caller said. When the couple’s elder daughter, Stella, called a moment later to wish her mother a happy birthday, Hu told her about the message.
“I told her, ‘Mom is not home and I feel very funny. I feel something is wrong,’” Hu said.
Stella Hu called the medical examiner from her own home in Las Vegas, then called back, crying, with the news that her father’s instinct was correct.
Jui-Ching Hu, who went by Jenny, was struck by a tour bus around 8:15 a.m. Friday that morning as she crossed a street near Honolulu’s Ala Moana Center, the largest mall in Hawaii. She was killed instantly.
A GoFundMe page has been set up by a friend of the family to help pay for Jenny Hu’s funeral and to help Stella and Serena Hu return to Hawaii to be with their father. As of Monday morning, it had raised just over $3,200.
The Honolulu Star Advertiser reported that the bus driver, an employee of Travel Plaza Transportation, did not realize he hit a pedestrian until someone flagged him down. His company said he has been an employee since 2011 and has no previous incidents on his record.
The crash remains under investigation, the newspaper reported.
As Youn-Chen Hu sat at his dining table Sunday morning, eating leftovers from one of the last meals his wife cooked, he looked at a photo of his wife and reflected on his family’s loss.
“Right now, I know how much I need her,” Youn-Chen Hu told Hawaii News Now. “I look at this picture and say, ‘Jenny, this is a really big change right now. Everything you left for me, I got to face now.”
Stella Hu told Hawaii News Now that the family is in shock.
“We don't know what to do right now,” she said. “We're all a little lost. We weren't ready for this.”
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