Isle pedestrian fatalities up
The current rate in Hawaii is higher than last year's, when the isles ranked No. 4 nationally
At the rate pedestrians are dying on Hawaii's roadways, the state could surpass last year's No. 4 national ranking in pedestrian fatalities.
Three pedestrians died in Oahu traffic accidents this weekend, raising the number of pedestrian fatalities on Oahu to 24 thus far this year. That is one more than in the same time period a year ago, according to acting Lt. Alan Vegas of the Honolulu Police Department's Traffic Division.
Despite HPD's stepped-up traffic enforcement this Halloween weekend, five critical or fatal traffic accidents occurred since Friday. Police set up sobriety checkpoints and more patrol for Halloween last night.
The pedestrian accidents come a month after HPD launched a traffic safety campaign to educate drivers and pedestrians about a new state law. The new law says drivers must stop and yield to pedestrians who are in their half of the roadway or approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway as to be a danger.
Police cited 954 pedestri- ans for jaywalking and 401 motorists not yielding to pedestrians from Sept. 1 to 23 under the new law.
Last year, there were 30 pedestrian fatalities for the entire state, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's National Center for Statistics and Analysis.
Hawaii ranked fourth in the nation in 2004 for its pedestrian fatality rate, with 2.65 deaths per 100,000 people. The national average was 1.67 per 100,000, the National Center for Statistics and Analysis showed.
In 2003, Hawaii ranked 11th, with 24 pedestrians killed, or a 1.91 rate per 100,000.
On Sunday an 80-year-old Kahuku man was killed in a hit-and-run accident while crossing Kamehameha Highway. It was Oahu's 65th traffic fatality, compared with 54 last year.
The Medical Examiner's Office had not identified the victim yesterday.
The man was walking in a crosswalk in an unlit portion of the highway. A dark-colored pickup truck struck the man, who was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver failed to stop to render aid.
Anyone with information concerning the Kahuku hit-and-run is asked to call acting Sgt. Lisa Reed or Officer John Ramos at 529-3499.
On Saturday, pedestrian Ok Nam Lee died at the Queen's Medical Center after being struck near the intersection of Ala Moana Boulevard and Atkinson Drive at about 5:39 a.m.
The 23-year veteran police officer who struck the 73-year-old woman remains on the job as a detective with the Waikiki Theft Detail. Police opened a negligent-homicide investigation into the incident.
The 52-year-old detective was stripped of his gun and badge, which is standard procedure in such cases, police said. The officer was driving a 1997 Chevrolet sport utility vehicle and was heading to Waikiki for a special-duty assignment.
A 51-year-old Kailua woman died Saturday from injuries sustained in a Friday night accident. Patricia M. Adams was struck 9:27 p.m. Friday while crossing Kalanianaole Highway in a crosswalk at Kanapuu Drive by a Jeep driven by a 44-year-old Waimanalo woman.