by: Natasha Chen Updated:
A 27-year-old cancer survivor from Enumclaw was run over by a delivery truck in Honolulu Saturday morning, as she was setting up for a farmer’s market.
Annie Runland was just about to graduate from the University of Hawaii in May. She had attended Washington State University in the past. She also worked for Starbucks and traveled the world.
On Saturday at around 6:30 a.m., Runland was setting up the stand for employer, Greens and Vines Raw Vegan Restaurant, in the parking lot of Kapiolani Community College.
Lt. Bobby Towne, of the Honolulu Police Department, told Hawaii News Now that a delivery van took off into the area of the vendors. Besides Runland, a 64-year-old man was also injured, and is in critical condition. A third person refused treatment.
A nearby vendor told reporters when the driver realized someone was pinned under the truck, the driver reversed and hit Runland again.
The driver, in her early 20s, has not been charged. Investigators are looking into possible mechanical errors with the truck.
Runland’s mother, Sarah van Vegten, was told her daughter was unconscious when paramedics brought her to the hospital and that Runland then went into cardiac arrest.
“There's a part of me that's gone forever,” van Vegten said.
Van Vegten flew to Hawaii from Seattle on Sunday.
She said she has been overwhelmed by messages online of how her daughter inspired other people.
“I don't think it's hit me yet that she's gone. But all the emails, calls, Facebook, everything, I wish Annie could see that. Thank you to everybody, from the bottom of my heart,” she said.
In many of those messages, people talked about how Runland constantly brought optimism to those around her, and how she sought adventure. Many pictures show her on the edge of a cliff or doing a yoga pose on a mountain path.
Her friend of 12 years, Janna Kinney, said she admired her especially when she learned how Runland survived kidney cancer at age 18.
“She had a big scar across her stomach. And I remember we would always ask her if that was something that bothered her, and she said no, I'm proud of it. That's my battle wound,” Kinney said.
Kinney said they worked at Starbucks together. She said she even wrote Runland a note years ago, telling her how much she admired her strength. The last time the two friends saw each other was in the summer of 2013. Runland told Kinney she had kept the letter, because it meant so much to her.
Kinney said she wishes she could just see her friend one more time.