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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, March 12, 2006

Traffic victim was 'loving' grandpa

By Michael Tsai
Advertiser Staff Writer

Ninety-four-year-old Susano Rilveria was on his way to Wahiawa Community Garden to tend to his sayote fruit plants Friday morning when he was struck by a Ford Explorer near a crosswalk on Mango Street.

Relatives said Rilveria was crossing the street to get to a bus stop when the vehicle turned off of California Avenue and hit him. Police said speed and alcohol do not appear to be factors. The accident happened during heavy rain and darkness.

Rilveria was pronounced dead at nearby Wahiawa General Hospital.

Also Friday, a 75-year-old cyclist was killed five hours later in a collision with a city bus on Kalaniana'ole Highway. The accidents accounted for O'ahu's 15th and 16th traffic fatalities of the year, compared to 17 last year.

Rilveria, originally from Illocos Sur in the Philippines, worked in construction for most of his life and retired in the 1970s.

His daughter Felita Tabula said Rilveria made the most of his retirement years taking care of his grandchildren.

"He was a very loving, caring, humble guy," she said. "You can't put a price on the love he had for his children and grandchildren. He was a very hard worker and he was always helping other people."

Tabula said her father remained "very strong and very independent" despite his advancing age.

Wayne Tomei, who lives about a block from where the accident occurred, said the death was an avoidable tragedy.

"We need to have more lights and more police," said Tomei, 62. "There are blind corners all over the place and people don't look when they're turning.

"This kind of accident is a real tragedy," he said. "People in this neighborhood are really hurting."

Rilveria is survived by his wife, Milagros, 10 children and 17 grandchildren.

Reach Michael Tsai at mtsai@honoluluadvertiser.com.