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Saturday, April 19, 2014         

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Pedestrian killed in Likelike crosswalk

By Gordon Y.K. Pang

POSTED:


A 79-year-old Kalihi woman who died after being struck by a Toyota Forerunner yesterday morning was the fifth pedestrian to die on Oahu roads since the beginning of October.

The woman died after she was hit by a vehicle while crossing Likelike Highway near Kalihi Street about 5:25 a.m.

Paramedics treated the woman at the scene and took her to the Queen's Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead a short time later.

The victim was the 19th pedestrian fatality of the year, which is almost double the 10 recorded in all of 2009. It was also the 55th overall traffic death this year, tying last year's total with more than a month to go in 2010.

In the wake of the latest pedestrian death, Police Chief Louis Kealoha and AARP Hawaii Director Barbara Kim Stanton yesterday renewed a call for motorists and pedestrians to use more care during the holiday season, only a week after HPD and Stanton issued similar pleas.

"Pedestrians need to look both ways before they cross, and our motorists need to slow down and watch for pedestrians," Kealoha said.

"The tragedy is that these pedestrian crashes are avoidable if the driver and the pedestrian are alert," Stanton said.

The crash occurred when it was still dark and the road was wet from rain, police said.

A gray 2008 Toyota all-purpose vehicle Kaneohe-bound on the highway struck the woman, who was crossing the highway in the Koko Head direction, police said.

The woman had almost made it across the highway in a marked crosswalk when she was hit in the right lane, police said. The woman might have crossed under a red or yellow signal, police said.

The driver of the vehicle, a 28-year-old Kalihi man, was not injured and agreed to a blood test. It was not known whether speed, alcohol or drugs were factors in the crash.

Police shut down the Kaneohe-bound lanes of the highway between Kalihi Street and Gulick Avenue to investigate the accident. The road reopened at 7:47 a.m.

Beverly Munoz, 27, and Alden Agoto, 32, who live on Kalihi Street near the scene, said the area is full of traffic hazards and has been the scene of a number of crashes.

"The bus stop right here is used by a lot of elderly people," Agoto said, pointing at a bench less than 100 yards from the crosswalk where the woman was killed. "Plus, too, these kids, they speed through here."

Munoz and Agoto said at least two traffic signs have been run into at or near the Likelike Highway-Kalihi Street intersection.

"We see all kinds over here," Agoto said.

Abraham Kaumeheiwa III, 25, who walks and catches TheBus in the area, said traffic in the area is "pretty crazy."

What the intersection needs is an in-pavement flashing-light crosswalk like the one on North King Street near the Kapalama Post Office, he said.

The city installed it as part of a pilot project earlier this year.






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