CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARBULLETIN.COM
Police investigated an accident scene on North King Street yesterday after a 50-year-old man was hit and killed by a city bus.
Pedestrian dies after being struck by bus
The man reportedly stumbles from a North King Street sidewalk
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A 50-year-old man died yesterday after reportedly stumbling off the sidewalk and being hit by a city bus at the 400 block of North King Street.
Travis Ewing, who works at Fighter's Corner, said numerous buses pass and stop in the area. He suggested that a railing might help prevent people from falling into the street.
A woman was killed earlier this year just a few yards away in a crosswalk. But police note different circumstances for the two accidents.
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A 50-year-old Kalihi man died yesterday after reportedly stumbling from the sidewalk into the path of a city bus on North King Street in Kapalama.
He was taken by ambulance in critical condition to the Queen's Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 2:10 p.m., police said.
Eyewitness Eleonita Finnigan, 45, said: "The gentleman was standing, just hanging around. He walked over to the street, and I guess he stumbled. I guess he was dizzy, because he fell onto the street. Maybe he didn't notice the vehicles. ... It was sudden.
"I was shocked," said Finnigan, who knew the man by sight and said he had purchased something from a nearby store.
This is the latest in a spate of pedestrian accidents. Charles K.L. Ma, 85, died after being hit by a car last Thursday while crossing Kalanianaole Highway near Waa Street in East Honolulu. On Friday a 63-year-old woman was critically injured when she was struck by a car while crossing South King Street in McCully. And on Nov. 2 a 35-year-old woman was critically injured by a hit-and-run driver while crossing a street in Kailua.
Tony Liang, owner of King Mart, said the victim appeared to be one of his regular customers who had come into the store that afternoon and made a small purchase. But he could not identify him for sure because "half his face is gone."
He described the man as a nice guy who came in regularly to buy cigarettes.
Liang said he spoke with the driver of the bus that struck the man.
"He cried and he's shivering," he said.
"Sorry to see that it's one day before Thanksgiving," he said. "It's something I will remember for the rest of my life, especially to see a man leave the world that way is like a tragedy."
Police said the driver, a 60-year-old man, was shaken. No one on the bus was injured.
Maj. Kurt Kendro said the 1:35 p.m. accident occurred at a busy intersection with high pedestrian traffic which was the scene of another accident last year and a pedestrian education program Oct. 29.
The scene is also about 70 feet from the light and a crosswalk where Fe Bulahan, 82, was fatally struck Jan. 15 by a van.
After that accident, Bulahan's 88-year-old husband said they had almost made it across to the sidewalk when a van driven by a 28-year-old man struck both of them.
Kendro noted that the two accidents are different. However, the Jan. 15 accident also came when a slew of fatal pedestrian accidents occurred -- four in eight days -- on Oahu.
Yesterday's accident marks the 18th pedestrian fatality on Oahu of the year, compared with 17 the same time last year, and the 58th traffic fatality, compared with 82 last year at this time.
Travis Ewing, who works at Fighter's Corner, a nearby store, said buses pass frequently and stop at the bus stop in front of King Mart. "If someone slips and falls, they're going to go right into traffic."
He said he has seen fights where people have been pushed into the roadway, and suggested a railing along the area to prevent another accident.
Ewing said the bus was facing away from the sidewalk.
"It looked almost like the bus tried to avoid him," he said, although the bus could have been preparing to turn into the next lane.
"This is one of the scariest intersections ever," he said.