Man accused of fatally striking women pleads not guilty

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Family friends of a Japanese woman who suffered a fatal hit-and-run accident have launched an online fundraiser to support her family members, which as of Jan. 6 has raised close to $123,000 — more than double its $60,000 goal.

On Dec. 31, Hanako Abe was crossing the street in San Francisco’s SOMA district, when she was fatally struck by a driver in a hit-and-run accident.

Abe was taken to the ER, where she died. She was 27.

Bay City News Service reported that Troy McAlister, 45, “is accused of fatally striking” Abe and Elizabeth Platt, 60, “as they crossed the street at Mission and Second streets after McAlister ran a red light.”

KTVU reported that “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.”

According to BCN, McAllister appeared in court Jan. 5. He faces charges of manslaughter, in addition to manslaughter, driving while under the influence, driving a stolen vehicle, and being a felon in possession of a firearm, prosecutors said.

He pleaded not guilty to the charges during his arraignment, BCN reported.

Organizers who created a GoFundMe account for Abe’s family members described her as having “embodied resilience, bravery, and hope.”

Abe, who was raised in Fukushima Prefecture in Japan, survived the March 11, 2011 earthquake, tsunami and subsequent nuclear disaster.

According to the fundraiser, Abe studied English in hopes of going to America.

She eventually attended the University of Central Arkansas. Upon graduating, she moved to San Francisco in 2018.

The fundraiser states that Abe “shouldered an enormous amount of responsibility with her father having an aortic dissection and mother’s battle with lung cancer. Throughout the past year, in the midst of COVID-19, Hana never stopped smiling and was the most resilient and optimistic person we knew.”

Abe’s “close family friends” created the fundraiser to help her “family with the cost of travel and funeral expenses so her mother and little brother can fly to the U.S. and … transport her body back to Japan.”

According to the fundraiser, any leftover funds will go to her family.

To honor Abe’s memory, her friends are also organizing a virtual run.

They are encouraging those who want to participate to run a 5K (3.1 miles) in January, and consider sharing it on social media with the #RunForHanako hashtag. There is no fee to participate.

For more information about the fundraiser or the virtual run, visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/hanako-abe.

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