Hawaiian vacationer pinned between cars in hit-and-run witnessed by her children

Vacationers walk along Waikiki Beach Feb. 27, 2010, in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Vacationers walk along Waikiki Beach Feb. 27, 2010, in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Credit: Kent Nishimura/Getty Images

Credit: Kent Nishimura/Getty Images

A Japanese woman visiting Hawaii was seriously injured Sunday when a hit-and-run driver pinned her between two cars, all while the victim’s small children watched from their car seats, authorities said.

The crash was reported in the parking lot of a Whole Foods store at Kahala Mall in Honolulu, Hawaii News Now reported. Witnesses said the 35-year-old woman, who was visiting from Japan with her husband and two children, had just strapped the children into their car seats when an SUV slammed into the back of the Nissan the family was using.

The woman, who was pinned between the sedan and another vehicle, was hospitalized with serious injuries.

Witness Scott Plater told Hawaii News Now that he heard the accident as he arrived at the mall.

“I heard a loud crash and a woman scream,” Plater said.

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Plater said he was pulling into the parking lot when he saw the driver of the SUV fleeing. He said a woman was behind the wheel.

"I saw maybe four or five guys chasing after the vehicle as it was weaving through the lot," Plater said. "It had a lot of damage to the rear passenger side."

He told the news station that he followed the SUV as it circled the mall. He attempted to give as much information as possible to a 911 dispatcher before the driver “gunned it” and fled the scene, Plater said.

Police said witnesses provided the license plate number of the vehicle, which had not been reported stolen. The investigation is continuing.

A spokeswoman from the Visitor Aloha Society of Hawaii told Hawaii News Now that the agency is helping care for the woman’s children while she recovers in the hospital.

"They are doing all they can to get through this," Jessica Lani Rich told the station. "The good news is the children were strapped in."

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