Kaaloa and one of her sisters, Ulu’s aunt, ran to her and cradled her in their arms, the newspaper said. An off-duty firefighter and an off-duty nurse performed CPR until paramedics arrived, but the girl was pronounced dead about an hour after the crash.
The Star Advertiser reported that Herndon was arrested on suspicion of negligent homicide but released pending additional investigation. It was not immediately known if speed was a factor in the accident.
Another of Ulu’s aunts, Jevon Kaaloa Matsuyama, told the newspaper that her niece loved movies and Japanese anime. She was also an avid reader.
Hawaii News Now reported that Ulu was a fixture at her family's store, where, by the age of 3, she was asking customers for their names and phone numbers because she was learning to write.
"I think God loved her so much, and he must love me, too, because he gave her to me to raise her and to love her for the short time she was here," Kaaloa told the news station.
Ulu’s mother said she did not blame Herndon, who she described as “just a man going home from work.” She said her family has no ill will toward him.
"I wish I knew who he was so I could give him a big hug because I can just imagine the pain that he must be in to be responsible," Kaaloa said. "To take the life of a little girl, who had so many people who loved her. But he was the one (who) was chosen to send her back to home to our heavenly father."
Family and friends mourned the little girl's death on social media.