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Hawaii sees 8 traffic-related fatalities so far in January

Hawaii started out the new year with eight traffic-related fatalities in the first month, four fewer than the same time last year, according to statistics from the Hawaii Department of Transportation.

Of the eight traffic-related fatalities the state counted from Jan. 1 to Wednesday, a total of three involved motor vehicle occupants, two involved pedestrians, and three involved motorcycles.

Most of them, five, occurred on Oahu, followed by two in Hawaii County, and one on Maui County. Kauai County recorded no traffic-related fatalities during the time period.

The City and County of Honolulu started off the first three days of the new year with two pedestrian-related fatalities in a row within about a half-mile of one another.

In the first incident, a 67-year-old male pedestrian was hit by a car while in a marked crosswalk on Punchbowl Street near the Queen’s Medical Center in Honolulu. In the second, a 70-year-old man crossing Alapai Street was struck by a white SUV of an unknown make traveling northbound. The driver left the scene of the accident, and the man was pronounced dead at the scene.

Other fatalities this year include a solo moped collision on Nimitz Highway, a motorcycle and car collision in Waialua after the motorcyclist lost control along an “S” turn on Kaukonahua Road.

The fifth fatality on Oahu occurred Jan. 23, when the 28-year-old passenger riding in the bed of a pickup truck fell out for unknown reasons in the Waimanalo area. He was taken to a hospital in critical condition and later succumbed to his injuries.

Transportation officials expressed concerns about an uptick of speeding incidents last year, when Honolulu police issued about double the number of speeding and excessive speeding tickets despite a drop in traffic due to the pandemic.

Hawaii closed out the year 2020 with 86 traffic-related fatalities compared to 108 in 2019.

On Thursday, police also marked the two-year anniversary of a tragic collision at an Ala Moana Boulevard intersection — where three were killed and others injured after a 27-year-old man driving a pickup truck plowed into them — with an impaired-driver checkpoint.

Honolulu police are also continuing unannounced impaired driver checkpoints through February.

TRAFFIC-RELATED DEATHS IN HAWAII

Jan. 1 to Jan. 27

>> City and County of Honolulu: 1 motor vehicle occupant, 2 pedestrians, 2 motorcycles (5 total)

>> Hawaii County: 1 motor vehicle occupant; 1 motorcycle (2 total)

>> Maui County; 1 motor vehicle occupant (1 total)

>> Kauai County: 0

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