Hit-and-run driver sentenced for death of bicyclist

Army Sgt. Doug Curtis must also pay restitution

Published  6:07 PM HST May 10, 2012
Sergeant gets sentence after hitting bicyclist from behind
HONOLULU -

A courtroom was packed with Zachary Manago’s family and friends, many who cried openly during the hearing Thursday.

Police believe the 18-year-old college student was hit while riding along the shoulder of the road in Wahiawa a year-and-a-half ago.

Prosecutors say Manago was thrown 153 feet, nearly half the length of a football field.

An attorney for Doug Curtis asked for a deferred acceptance plea prior to sentencing, saying Curtis thought his vehicle collided with a pig.

"We will never know if you were drinking on Dec. 17, 2010 but I want to you believe, you did not hit an animal, you hit my son Zach," said Daphne Manago.

And a family friend described how their hearts were wrenched over Zachary's death and how they are struggling still.

"He would want me to forgive you, and to say that God loves you, and we want to forgive you, but it’s really hard," said Teresa Wasano.

And then Curtis tearfully faced the court to apologize to Zach’s relatives and friends as well as his own family, for what he has put them through.

"I am sorry for what happened.  I feel horrible.  I don't sleep at night anymore.  I wake up, I think about it.  I go to work, I think about it.  I want your forgiveness," said Curtis.

The judge handed down a 10-year-maximum sentence leaving it to the Hawaii Paroling Authority to set the minimum.

"It took his friends to find you, and that was days later.  That was reckless, and callous and disrespectful of others," said Judge Ed Kubo.

Out in the hallway, there were hugs and more tears, and Zach Manago's mother said she just wanted some good to come out of all of this.

"His vision was for more bike lanes and a more bike-friendly Hawaii, and at this point that’s all I can really hope for," said Daphne Manago.

Curtis, the father of a 5-year old daughter was able to walk out of court with his father.

Judge Ed Kubo gave Curtis two weeks to get his affairs in order, and told him to report to court May 25 to begin his sentence.

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