CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Honolulu police investigated a pedestrian accident in McCully yesterday. Police said a car driven by a 90-year-old Kapahulu man, at left, hit a 63-year-old woman who was taken to the Queen's Medical Center in critical condition. The accident happened at the Hauoli Street intersection of South King Street.
Another walker hit
The Wine Stop owner Kim Karalovich had complained to the city about the hazards that pedestrians, especially older ones, face when crossing South King Street next to her store in McCully.
"It's terrible because you see them walking slowly across and you hear the screeching of the brakes every single day," Karalovich said. "I just kept saying someone's going to have to die before they do anything."
Yesterday that almost happened.
A 63-year-old McCully woman was crossing King Street next to Karalovich's store in a marked crosswalk at about 11:20 a.m. when a car traveling on South King Street hit her.
Police said the woman was crossing from the makai side when the car hit her two lanes from the mauka side of the street.
"She was two-thirds of the way through," said Honolulu police Lt. Gerrit Kurihara.
An ambulance took the woman to the Queen's Medical Center in critical condition.
Kurihara said the car's driver is a 90-year-old Kapahulu man. He remained at the scene.
There is no stoplight at the Hauoli Street intersection where the crosswalk is, or at two other nearby crosswalks on South King Street.
Many people use those crosswalks because there are a Times Super Market and other businesses in the area, including restaurants, on both sides of South King Street.
As the holiday season approaches, pedestrian and vehicular traffic is expected to increase.
"Drivers have obligations as well as pedestrians to be very careful. A crosswalk is not a shield, and it won't protect you," said Maj. Susan Dowsett, Honolulu Police Department Traffic Division commander.
About three months ago, Karalovich said, the city installed neon-green signs alerting motorists of the crosswalks. But drivers still speed through them, she said.
"I literally threw something at a car one day because they almost hit me," Karalovich said. "I had a bottle of water, and I threw it at them and they still kept going."
Yesterday's accident was the second serious traffic collision involving a pedestrian on Oahu in two days.
Pedestrian fatality was caring father
Every morning, 85-year-old Charles K.L. Ma rode the bus to Chinatown from his Waialae Iki home to shop and socialize with grocers and vendors.
"He liked to talk to people, just interact," said his oldest son, Kent.
Ma did not make it home Thursday.
Ma, known among friends as "Charlie," was on his way home after he exited the bus at a stop along Kalanianaole Highway.
As he walked across the highway at Waa Street, where he lived since 1960, Ma was struck by a station wagon driven by an 82-year-old woman.
He was taken in critical condition with head, leg and torso injuries to the Queen's Medical Center, where he later died.
Ma's death was the 17th pedestrian-related death on Oahu. Of that figure, eight pedestrians were in a marked crosswalk, police said. At this time last year, 17 pedestrian-related deaths occurred. Of that figure, five pedestrians were in a marked crosswalk.
The Department of the Medical Examiner determined the cause of death was multiple blunt force injuries due to collision. The manner of death was determined to be an accident.
Ma was to turn 86 on Jan. 23.
He was born and raised in Kakaako and worked in the marketing department for a title and escrow company called Long & Melone Ltd. Before that he was in charge of residential loans at International Savings & Loan.
Family members described him as a caring, generous and hard-working man.
He was a member of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce between 1972 and 1988 and volunteered as a guide where he conducted tours around Chinatown a couple of times a week, said his son.
Kent Ma said there is no traffic signal at the intersection where his father was struck. A traffic signal is not needed because there is a sufficient number of signals along the highway, he added.
Of the driver, Ma said, "I feel sorry for her. Now to have to live knowing that you killed someone, that's a terrible feeling to live with."
"I sympathize with her and her family," he said.
Bob Chuck, chairman of the Kuliouou-Kalani Iki Neighborhood Board, described the intersection where Ma was struck by the vehicle as dangerous because of the lack of a traffic signal.
Chuck also said that is difficult to determine how fast vehicles are traveling in that particular area because of the short distance to spot vehicles.
Chuck, who knew Ma for the past 25 years, said he was a nice and personable man. "I was shocked," he said when he found out yesterday that his friend was the pedestrian involved in the collision.
Charles Ma is survived by wife Pearl; sons Kent, Peter, Eugene and Charles Jr.; brother Richard Ma; sister Rose Yoshimura; and eight grandchildren. Funeral arrangements are pending.