Rafu Staff Report
SAN DIEGO — The San Diego County District Attorney’s Office is reviewing the case of Henry Hashiguchi’s death to determine whether to file charges against the responsible party.
On June 26, an unoccupied 2001 Audi S4 rolled down a hill in La Mesa and crashed into an assisted living facility, Elmcroft of La Mesa on Mills Street. Hashiguchi, 89, who was sitting in his room, was knocked to the floor and struck his head. He was pronounced dead at Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego.
A former Poston, Ariz. internee and a decorated veteran of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, Hashiguchi had just participated in a Congressional Gold Medal ceremony in San Diego in March. He had been living at the facility for almost three years.
The car’s owner, Diego Wright, 24, claimed that he had put the car in park and set the emergency brake, but police said he had only turned the wheels into the curb. According to U-T San Diego, the driver has apologized to the family through the care facility.
Police Lt. Matt Nicholass told The Rafu Shimpo, “The La Mesa Police Department has completed their investigation and forwarded the case to the San Diego District Attorney’s Office, East County Branch, to review for prosecution for P.C. 192(c)(2) — vehicular manslaughter. At this time, we have not heard a decision on whether charges will be filed or not.”
Steve Walker, communications director for the District Attorney’s Office, said last week, “The case remains under review; no decision has been made yet.”
In interviews shortly after the accident, Hashiguchi’s children, Richard Hashiguchi and Donna West, said that they wanted the driver to be held accountable.