comscore Medical examiner releases cause of death in moped accident near UH-Manoa | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
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Medical examiner releases cause of death in moped accident near UH-Manoa

  • DENNIS ODA/ DODA@STARADVERTISER.COM

    A memorial for moped rider Lee How ,who died after a moped he was riding collided with another moped in front of the UH William S. Richardson School of Law, was put up by friends. Kaimuki High School classmates Kale Clark, Christopher Tkel, Jr., Joshua Tamargo and Nick Grandinetti contributed to the memorial Wednesday.

A 22-year-old moped rider died from brain injuries after the moped he was on rear-ended another moped near the University of Hawaii at Manoa, according to the medical examiner.

The manner of death for Lee J.Y. How was classified as an accident.

Police said an 18-year-old moped rider and How, a 2012 Kaimuki High School graduate, were traveling together on Dole Street toward East-West Road Tuesday afternoon. The first moped rider stopped for a pedestrian crossing a marked crosswalk. How, who was riding a 1989 Honda moped, did not see what was happening and rear-ended the first moped.

Police said How was speeding when he crashed into the first moped.

Both moped riders were ejected onto the road. Paramedics took How in critical condition to Queen’s Medical Center where he died. Emergency Medical Services and police said he was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.

Sens. Lorraine Inouye and Josh Green plan to introduce legislation next year to require moped riders of all ages to wear helmets despite past attempts that faltered. The current law requires moped riders under the age 18 to wear a helmet.

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  • Any helmet law proposal now would be more of a knee jerk reaction. What kind of helmet would be required for moped riders; bicycle helmet, skateboard helmet or motorcycle off-road, motorcycle half helmets that just cover the top of the head or motorcycle full face helmets with EPS chin bar that completely covers the entire head down almost to the neck? In this accident a bicycle or skateboard helmet or even the motorcycle half helmet might not have made much of a difference and the impact was great enough and at a certain angle that he would have had severe brain injury anyway and not die outright but might be completely paralyzed or in a coma. His best chance would have been wearing a motorcycle full face helmet that would have given this moped rider his best chance for survival. However many complain full face helmets are hot, they cannot see clearly out of the eye hole and cannot hear street sounds, so how can you legally force ADULT moped riders to purchase and wear this type of helmet that cost at least a couple hundred dollars when there is no law for adult motorcycle riders to wear any helmets at all? You CANNOT pass laws to protect ADULTS from their own stoopidity and recklessness. This death is sad but not unexpected and these ADULT moped riders choose to ride irresponsibly on public roads and Hawaii’s Big Brother government will do NOTHING to stop these type of moped and motorcycle deaths from reckless riders. Government will NEVER trump Darwinian forces of nature and they will occur, no matter what state laws are passed. Better to actually show gruesome pictures of the accident scene and autopsy photos and show it to moped and motorcycle riders who have been previously ticketed for speeding and irresponsible riding and make them attend mandatory remedial class as a part of their penalty. This kid who died probably made it a habit to ride recklessly on the road for a while until it finally caught up with him.

    • I guess your bottom line is that vehicle safety laws are ineffectivr because when followed people can still be killed or injured and that some reckless drivers are going to ignore the laws anyway. Therefore, instead of helmet laws a better use of state resources would basically be to publicly display the bodies of accident victims….?

      Like the way you rail about how useless safety laws are and in the very next sentence complain that the state can “does nothing.”

      • NOT public display of the bodies of accident victims but ONLY for those moped and motorcycle riders ticketed multiple times for speeding or reckless riding and only they will be required to take rider classes that show the photos and videos. They did that when I took high school shop class on what happens when students don’t take the required precautions of use of the shop powers aws, drills and presses.

        And yes State Hawaii laws passed against texting will driving, using their cellphone, use of seat belts, driving without a license, etc do NOT work for the people who are irresponsible and reckless. What about the women driving without a license, kills a pedestrian on the Ewa side, leaves the scene without rendering aid gets only nine months in jail. She probably did not even have insurance and spends only nine months in jail? Based on all of the Hawaii laws she broke shouldn’t she spend at least 5-10 years in jail for killing someone with her vehicle? For seatbelt laws, police can only catch people who do not use seatbelts who stop at intersections on streets with they are going less than 30mph however wear it counts on Oahu freeways, no way police can catch people driving without seat belts going 55mph or faster. However they ticket thousands of people and make millions in fines. Based on the US Constitution, how can the Hawaii State legislature pass ANY law that makes it illegal for someone to be or act stoopid or reckless to ones self? And if they are caught is the State with the court system going to convict them and put them in prison for many, many years?

        • Let’s see, where to begin…

          You’re basically saying that since some people will not obey the laws, there shouldn’t be any.

          You bring up this Ewa pedestrian fatality as a (bad) example. Okay, so the laws didn’t prevent this woman from killing a pedestrian. Not only that, but she spends less than a year in jail. Want to venture a guess as to what would have happened to her if there were no laws to break? C’mon, guess.

          Then you mention police only being able to “catch” seatbelt scofflaws going under 30mph, I think you’re misunderstanding the way police “catch” people. It’s not like when they see someone not wearing a seatbelt, the swoop in with a helicopter and a magnet and pluck his/her still moving vehicle off the road.They use their lights, pull offenders over and give them tickets. It really doesn’t matter how fast they were going.

          And, what exactly is wrong with ticketing and making millions off “stoopid” people? Is it affecting your bottom line?

    • You’re right, Inverse, helmet laws can’t protect everyone from harm because, as you rightfully say, there are always a few who will ignore them and injure themselves. However, the laws minimize the number or severity of injuries. This is true for all laws. They’re not meant to be foolproof since we can’t account for variations in rationality. Their purpose is to keep injuries to a minimum.

  • This is confusing – why are these politicians introducing a helmet law when they should be asking HPD to crack down on individuals committing a crime by reckless irresponsible speeding?

  • Ok finally a helmet. Law. I was wondering how many deaths it was going to take for law makers to see reality. Helmets should be required for all moving devices on our roads that’s not a car. Period! Bicycles, mopeds, motorcycles! I always thought how funny we have safety belt law, but no helmet law.

    • You bring up a valid point. We do have a seat belt law but we don’t have helmet law (for adult vehicle riders). For many it is an inconvenience and and an issue of discomfort. The same can be said of seat belts. Then there is the issue regarding riders of truck beds. I see them all the time on our roads. Often these riders are minors. The very minors who are required to wear seat belts when riding as passengers in the cab, even on the extra cab’s rear seat. The reasoning for this seemingly contradictory policy is that drivers in the country can ill afford to make adjustments to their lifestyle despite the case for safety regarding passengers in the truck bed. And so we turn a blind eye to this matter. Then there is the fact that we do not see too many truck bed fatalities on our roadways. Further, we do not have a lot of statistical coverage on this area of safety in the US. But this glaring omission in our laws regarding ridership in truck beds and how we do not require helmets when it comes to adult scooter or moped riders is simply a case of politics. It’s about requiring a common sense safety habit on citizens that may not want to adhere to safety and common sense. It is something that has to be done and not just brushed underneath the rug. How many lives will we see lost before we take action?

    • You bring up a valid point. We do have a seat belt law but we don’t have helmet law (for adult vehicle riders). For many it is an inconvenience and and an issue of discomfort. The same can be said of seat belts. Then there is the issue regarding riders of truck beds. I see them all the time on our roads. Often these riders are minors. The very minors who are required to wear seat belts when riding as passengers in the cab, even on the extra cab’s rear seat. The reasoning for this seemingly contradictory policy is that drivers in the country cannot afford to make adjustments to their lifestyle despite the case for safety regarding passengers in the truck bed. And so we turn a blind eye to this matter. Then there is the fact that we do not see too many truck bed fatalities on our roadways. Further, we do not have a lot of statistical coverage on this area of safety in the US. But this glaring omission in our laws regarding ridership in truck beds and how we do not require helmets when it comes to adult scooter or moped riders is simply a case of politics. It’s about requiring a common sense safety habit on citizens that may not want to adhere to safety and common sense. It is something that has to be done and not just brushed underneath the rug. How many lives will we see lost before we take action?

    • You bring up a valid point. We do have a seat belt law but we don’t have helmet law (for adult vehicle riders). For many it is an inconvenience and and an issue of discomfort. The same can be said of seat belts. Then there is the issue regarding riders of truck beds. I see them all the time on our roads. Often these riders are minors. The very minors who are required to wear seat belts when riding as passengers in the cab, even on the extra cab’s rear seat. The reasoning for this seemingly contradictory policy is that drivers in the country can ill afford to make adjustments to their lifestyle despite the case for safety regarding passengers in the truck bed. And so we ignore this matter. Then there is the fact that we do not see too many truck bed fatalities on our roadways. Further, we do not have a lot of statistical coverage on this area of safety in the US. But this glaring omission in our laws regarding ridership in truck beds and how we do not require helmets when it comes to adult scooter or moped riders is simply a case of politics. It’s about requiring a common sense safety habit on citizens that may not want to adhere to safety and common sense. It is something that has to be done and not just brushed underneath the rug. How many lives will we see lost before we take action?

    • You bring up a valid point. We do have a seat belt law but we don’t have helmet law (for adult vehicle riders). For many it is an inconvenience and and an issue of discomfort. The same can be said of seat belts. Then there is the issue regarding riders of truck beds. I see them all the time on our roads. Often these riders are minors. The very minors who are required to wear seat belts when riding as passengers in the cab, even on the extra cab’s rear seat. The reasoning for this seemingly contradictory policy is that drivers in the country can ill afford to make adjustments to their lifestyle despite the case for safety regarding passengers in the truck bed. And so we turn a blind eye to this matter. Then there is the fact that we do not see too many truck bed accidents on our roadways. Further, we do not have a lot of statistical coverage on this area of safety in the US. But this glaring omission in our laws regarding ridership in truck beds and how we do not require helmets when it comes to adult scooter or moped riders is simply a case of politics. It’s about requiring a common sense safety habit on citizens that may not want to adhere to safety and common sense. It is something that has to be done and not just brushed underneath the rug. How many lives will we see lost before we take action?

  • Go all out with helmets, regular licensure, regular registration, insurance, etc. It’s needed. Mopeds should be treated the same as other motorized vehicles.

  • Is the problem a failurw to wear helmets or is it a failurw to obey Hawaii law by illegally modifying mopeds so that they can travel much, much faster than is legally allowed in Hawaii? The top speed for a moped is, according to your state law, only 35 mph. Police said the moped was speeding and a google map search shows the speed limit on Dole St is 35 mph. So, how is it possible for that moped to have been traveling at a higher rate of speed than 35 mph unless it had been illegally modified to go faster than Hawaii law allows? As usual, the media misses the real story and the real issue.

  • If he was wearing a helmet, he may have survived the crash. Medical examiner said he died from brain injuries. I can say as a former moped rider myself, my full helmet probably saved my life. I was going 35 mph when my back tire blew out and my bike skidded sideways until I hit the pavement and slid on the ground with my head bouncing on the road. I was glad to have the helmet on. Broke my leg but didn’t have any other injury – especially to my head. Wasn’t worth the gas saving. After the accident, I no longer ride my moped – safety first!

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