Accident quiets 'big personality'


POSTED: Thursday, April 30, 2009
This story has been corrected.  See below.

Standing next to the road in front of her Waimanalo home, Ilima Cook took a step onto Kalanianaole Highway and then a step back before she rushed out and was struck by a small tour bus, Honolulu police said.

;[Preview]  Waimanalo Woman Dies After Fatal Tour Bus Accident

44 year old Ilima Cook died at the scene when she tried to jay walk across the Kalanianaole Highway.

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Police said Cook was crossing in the mauka direction away from her house and was not in a place that had a crosswalk.

Cook, 44, pinned under an E Noa Tour bus, was pronounced dead at the scene along the highway, less than 20 minutes after the crash was reported at 9:27 a.m. yesterday.

The bus was headed toward Kailua when the accident took place, about a couple of hundred feet southwest of the Naturally Hawaiian Gallery.

“;She was a real big personality in Waimanalo,”; gallery owner Patrick Ching said. “;Everybody knows Ilima.”;

Ching said she was liked within the community, where she was known for taking frequent walks along Kalanianaole Highway.

; Residents said Cook was a beautiful person who sometimes talked to friends you couldn't see.

But Ching said if you looked Cook in the eye and greeted her, she would snap out of her conversation with imaginary friends and return the greeting and smile.

“;She was always very respectful,”; he said.

Ching said Cook, who sometimes asked if he had an extra cigarette, enjoyed sitting in the shade outside his gallery.

“;I was always thankful to her for watching the place,”; he said.

He said Cook had just celebrated her birthday a few days ago.

Her death was the 25th traffic fatality on Oahu, compared with 13 for the same period last year.

E Noa Tour officials declined comment.










Waimanalo resident Ilima Cook was walking mauka and away from her house when she was struck by a bus. This story originally said she was walking in the makai direction.