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OHA trustee to fight citation, explains why she left the scene of an accident

An Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustee has been cited for leaving the scene of an accident.

The other driver involved told us about it using the Report It feature on our website.

Trustee Lei Ahu Isa says she plans to fight the citation, and says she had the legal right to leave.

She says she left because she was afraid the other driver was going to get violent.

He says that's not true, so we wanted to know what the law allows if someone feels like they're in danger in that situation.

Branden Ibara says he had just gotten out of his parked car on Kawaiahao Street when a car hit his door as he was grabbing change to feed the meter.

"I leaned back in to grab the loose change from the cup holder, and that's when it happened," said Ibara.

The driver's side is severely damaged and will be in the shop for weeks. He says the other driver did stop, but didn't stick around to exchange information.

"She told me, 'I'm an OHA trustee. I have a meeting to go to.' I told her I have a meeting to go to also," said Ibara.

So he called the police and gave the officer her license plate number, who tracked her down and gave her a ticket for leaving the scene of an accident.

We reached out to the trustee who tells us she left in fear of Ibara.

"I left because I felt threatened. The attitude was belligerent and I did not want to get into an altercation with him. He kept saying, 'It's your fault.' At that point, I kind of knew that it's no use talking to him. He's just going to keep going on and on," Ahu Isa said.

"The same way I'm talking to you right now is the same way I talked to her. I was very professional. I didn't get angry at her," Ibara said.

Ahu Isa says that Ibara opened the door just before she hit it, so it was his fault in the first place.

We asked the Honolulu Police Department what a driver is supposed to do if he or she feels threatened by the other driver. A spokeswoman says you should drive to a safe place and call 911.

Ahu Isa says she did, but not right away.

"Why didn't you call right away if he was being belligerent and he was getting angry and you were just in an accident?" KHON2 asked.

"I didn't have my cellphone, and when I got to the meeting, I had 20 beneficiaries about the charter school issue. They were there testifying. I cannot stop, go out and use the phone, come back," Ahu Isa replied.

She adds that she told Ibara who she is by name before leaving, although he says he only found out after checking the OHA website.

The fine for leaving the scene is $100. Ahu Isa says she plans to fight it and explain in court why she left.

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