HONOLULU (KHON2) — A deadly crash claimed the life of a Maui police employee after she chased a suspect that stole her purse.
Maui Police Chief John Pelletier identified the victim as Terry Jones, the chief’s secretary.
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The crash happened on Kula Highway at the intersection of Haleakala Highway on Thursday morning at around 5:20 a.m.
Jones was a 32-year veteran of the police department and was described as the mom of the Maui Police Department (MPD).
“There’s a void MPD has that most likely will never be filled,” said Pelletier.
Jones dedicated her life to public service, first at the Maui Prosecutor’s office, and then she served over three decades with the Maui police.
The 55-year-old would help in any way she could as she worked closely with charities like Relay for Life and Special Olympics Hawaii.
“She would make events beautiful and successful and it was all because of her dedication and giving spirit,” said Adrienne Laurion, Special Olympics Hawaii Regional Director.
When Jones wasn’t tending to her work family, she was supporting her own.
“She was the best mom, grandma, sister, and aunty,” said Stacy Yagi, Jones’ daughter. “I mean, we could honestly talk about her for days. She’s just an amazing human being. No amount of words could quantify how her heart is just amazing.”
The Jones family is asking the community to do what she would do and carry on her legacy by helping others.
“Hopefully we can become half the person she is. We have to — and I say we — but as in the entire community has huge shoes to fill,” Yagi said.
A GoFundMe account has been set up to assist the family with funeral costs.
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The suspect has not been caught and police urge them to turn themself in.