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Tears of joy as Kaulana's bill is signed by Gov. Ige - Honolulu, Hawaii news, sports & weather - KITV Channel 4

Tears of joy as Kaulana's bill is signed by Gov. Ige

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NANAKULI, Hawaii -

19-year-old Kaulana Werner was a former Kamehameha Schools football player, who was struck by a car while crossing Farrington Highway in 2016.
The driver didn't stop to help.

Since then his family has worked tirelessly to pass what's been dubbed "Kaulana's bill" -to help give longer sentences for offenders convicted of first degree negligent homicide, who fail to render aid to the injured at the scene of an accident. 

"Signing by Governor Ige is going to bring really powerful awareness to the state of Hawaii," said Ed Werner, Kaulana'a father.

Sunday's bill signing took place in Nanakuli, as that is where the teen lived and died.  

"I do think it was an opportunity for us to turn a tragedy into something positive. The Werner family along with the other family of the victims really wanted to see something done. They were tired of reckless drivers taking innocent lives and not taking accountability for their actions," said Governor David Ige. 

Werner's family and friends say it brings them closure to know this bill will help others.

Ed Werner knows the value of this bill will affect more than just this family, "Its going to save other lives out there," he said.

Ron Shimabuku, Kaulana's brother said, "This is only the beginning. This is the first step in our journey. The next step is education. We're gonna let the people know that only is this a deterrence this is also a penalty that will be just for the crime. You leave the scene of the crime you will get sentenced."

A Koa tree was planted fronting the Nanakuli Library in Werner's honor.

The driver that hit Werner is charged with first degree negligent homicide and is currently awaiting trial. 

The Werners say they believe it was part of their son's destiny to help make Hawaii a better and safer place. 

The law takes effect on July 1st.

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