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The Honolulu Advertiser

Updated at: 9:10 a.m., Friday, October 18, 2002

Police looking for hit-and-run killer

By Rod Ohira
Advertiser Staff Writer

Rufino Quintinita died Wednesday in a hit-and-run accident on Manoa Road.

Photo courtesy of Quintinita family

The grieving widow of a 92-year-old Kamehameha Heights man killed Wednesday in a hit-and-run accident in Manoa said today she cannot forgive the driver for leaving an injured man to die on the roadway.

Quintinita said if the driver had tried to help Rufino Quintinita, her husband of 41 years might be alive today. "(The driver) don’t care, some people like that," she said.

Rufino Quintinita, who worked as a yardman to keep fit, had caught a city bus to Manoa and was on his way to a Judd Hillside residence when he was struck by a car while crossing MÅnoa Road between 5:30 a.m. and 5:40 a.m.

Police are looking for the driver of a '90s-model Toyota with right-side damage to its front bumper, hood and signal light.

The make of the car is known because of signal-light fragments recovered at the scene of the hit and run.

Anyone with information about the hit and run is asked to call traffic investigators at 529-3499 or CrimeStoppers at 955-8300 or *Crime on a cellular telephone.

Rosalina Quintinita yesterday said she's hurting over her husband's death.

"My husband was old but he was a nice man," she said. "We never fight and until he died, we never separated."

Rosalina Quintinita, who was 30 years younger than her husband, urged him Tuesday night not to go to work anymore. "I scold him about going to work because he old and I afraid something going happen to him," she said. "But he say that if he stay home, he do nothing, and he need the exercise."

Although he retired as a plantation worker in 1973, Rufino Quintinita did yard work once or twice a week.

"He give everything to the family and never complain," Quintinita said of her husband, whom she married in December 1960.

With tears in her eyes, she added, "He's a good father, good husband, nice man. Everybody like him. Why he have to die like that."

To his Kamehameha Heights neighbors, Rufino Quintinita was known as grandpa.

"He was a quiet, hard-working man, very healthy," Juanita Ramos said. "I was shocked when his wife told me (what happened)."

Like her husband, Rosalina Quintinita caught the bus to work Wednesday morning but left before her husband. Quintinita, who works at Arcadia Retirement Residence in Makiki, found out from her daughter that her husband had been critically injured and was at The Queen's Medical Center. She rushed to the hospital but said he already was not breathing when the ambulance brought him in.

Rufino Quintinita came to Hawai'i from the Philippines in 1928, his wife said. He was a plantation worker on several islands and never married until 1960.

"He loved work," said Rosemarie Quintinita, the victim's 31-year-old daughter and the youngest of his three children.

Besides his wife and daughter, Rufino Quintinita is survived by son, Joseph Dylan Quintinita of Washington state; daughter, Lorretta Payne of Tucson, and three grandchildren. Service and burial are tentatively scheduled for Nov. 9 at Mililani Mortuary with viewing the night before, his wife said.

Reach Rod Ohira at rohira@honoluluadvertiser.com or 535-8181.

"I don’t know how to forgive (the driver)," Rosalina Quintinita said. "I love my husband and I bad hurt."