Friends of 27-year-old killed in San Francisco hit and run raise money to ‘bring her back’ home to Japan

Friends of a 27-year-old woman, struck and killed during a hit and run in San Francisco on New Year's Eve have launched a fundraising effort to help her family bring her back to her native Japan.

27-year-old Hanako Abe was killed in a hit and run in San Francisco on Dec. 31, 2020.

Hanako Abe was one of two women fatally struck in a crosswalk at Mission and Second Streets on Thursday. Investigators said the driver, Troy McAllister, ran a red light, t-boning a car before hitting Abe and another San Francisco resident, 60-year-old Elizabeth Platt. 

SkyFOX over a double fatal accident involving two pedestrians on New Year's Eve in San Francisco.

McAllister, a 45-year-old parolee, was arrested on charges including two counts of vehicular homicide while intoxicated, leaving the scene of a deadly collision, and driving a stolen vehicle.   

Friends said Abe was rushed to the hospital where she died a short time later. In a GoFundMe effort set up over the weekend, Abe was remembered as a loving friend, a dedicated daughter and one who "embodied resilience, bravery, and hope."

Friends of hit and run victim 27-year-old San Francisco resident Hanako Abe set up a GoFundMe on Jan 2, 2020 to help bring her body back to her native Japan.

They said she moved to San Francisco in 2018, to pursue her dream as a data engineer. Prior to coming to the Bay Area, Abe attended the University of Central Arkansas. It was a big move from her home in Fukushima, Japan, where she grew up and along with her family survived the devastating earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster of 2011. 

"Despite this tragedy, Hana continued doing her best in pursuit of her dreams. She put all of her efforts into studying English so that one day she could come to America," friends shared on the GoFundMe page. 

Now, their hope was to make sure their friend made her journey back home. They said the money raised would go toward funeral expenses and the cost of travel so her family can fly to the U.S. and bring her body back to Japan. 

"We want her to be able to rest peacefully surrounded by her family and closest friends," organizers wrote on the GoFundMe page. 

Friends also noted that Abe had been a significant source of financial support for her family and said that any extra money raised would go directly to her family. "Hana shouldered an enormous amount of responsibility with her father having an aortic dissection and mother’s battle with lung cancer," organizers wrote.  

There has been an outpouring of support from those who have heard about Abe's death and the efforts to help her family. As of Tuesday afternoon, more than $105K had been raised so far.


On Monday, organizers of the fundraising campaign thanked all those who have contributed and encouraged continued support. "Let's see if we can keep it going and show the Abe family our love!" they posted in an update. 

They also shared a message from Abe’s parents who spoke of their heartbreaking loss. "We never expected to experience this kind of sadness in our lives. There is no bigger grief than losing a child," the family wrote.

Her parents went on to describe how hard their daughter worked to get a job in the U.S. and how despite the challenges her family faced, she always kept a smile and demonstrated kindness to others. 

"Hanako’s kindness was exceptional. We remember a number of moments when her kindness helped us and others feel at peace and soothe the pain," they shared. "Hanako believed in herself, she did her best, and kept shining brightly." 

The Abes also reiterated how their daughter had fulfilled her dream to live abroad.  

"Our daughter wanted to be surrounded by people from different backgrounds, ideas and circumstances. She felt that would help everyone love and accept each other and be who they want to be," her parents shared.

And they gave a very honest depiction of the feelings they had toward the man accused in their daughter’s death. "We'd say, we have feelings of hatred toward the perpetrator, but on the other hand, hating him won't bring our daughter back to life," the parents wrote in their message. 

And they questioned whether the suspect should have been back on the streets. The parolee had been arrested just 11 days prior to the deadly accidents.

"Did he and the justice system correctly prove that he was ready and showed good intentions before letting him back into society?" the parents asked, adding that they hoped their daughter’s death led to changes to prevent such tragedies from happening.

In closing, the mourning parents expressed gratitude for the support they've received, asked that Hanako's memories live on in people's hearts, and shared these words, which they believed would be held by their daughter: "‘I worked hard toward my dreams and had a happy life. I am grateful to everyone I met. And everyone, don’t give up on your dreams. A wonderful life is made by your own heart!'"