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Friday, October 13, 2000

By Craig T. Kojima, Star-Bulletin
A speeding van smashed into this car, then crashed into Jenny's
Lei & Flowers shop on Beretania Street this morning.

Van slams into Chinatown shop, injuring keeper

In a rush to get a stabbing victim
to the hospital, the van's driver loses
control, pinning the lei shop's
owner to a refrigerator

By Jaymes K. Song

A speeding van carrying a stabbing victim to the hospital lost control on Beretania Street and crashed into a Chinatown lei shop this morning, critically injuring a 76-year-old woman.

Janet Roberts, the owner of the shop, was pinned upside down against a glass refrigerator and shelves at Jenny's Lei & Flowers at 65 North Beretania.

Witnesses said a green Plymouth Voyager van came screeching around Smith Street onto Beretania Street at about 8:10 a.m., then slammed into a parked Nissan 240SX with two children inside before crashing into the shop.

After hitting Roberts, the driver of the van reversed out of the lei shop, but Lloyd Roberts, the woman's son, ran after the van.

"I told them, you're not going anywhere, you hit my mom," he said.


Lloyd Roberts said he grabbed the steering wheel as hard as he could, causing the van to hit a blue Volvo and end up on the sidewalk across the street from the lei shop. Roberts said he then put the vehicle in park and took out the keys.

Two male passengers in the van got out and threatened Roberts, he said.

"They came after me and I grabbed a bat to defend myself," he said.

Two men, who Roberts said were pastors, were able to defuse the situation before police arrived.

The unidentified woman driver was driving a man with a stab wound in his chest to the hospital, police said. The stabbing victim was taken to Queen's Medical Center by ambulance and was reported in guarded condition.

Janet Roberts was taken to Queen's in critical condition. Bryce and Hunter Roberts, 6 and 4, who were in the parked car were taken to Kapiolani Medical Center for observation.

By Craig T. Kojima, Star-Bulletin
Bryce Roberts, with an ice pack on his head, was in
a parked car when it was rammed.

Lloyd Roberts was also hit by the van but was not seriously injured and did not go to the hospital.

Janet Roberts' brother, Henry Lau, was sitting 15 feet away from the accident when his sister was hit.

"If it's not for this (parked) car, people would've gotten killed," he said.

The woman driver of the van and two male passengers were taken into police custody. The woman was arrested for drunken driving but police said she could face several other charges.

Witnesses said the stabbing occurred during a fight involving several people on Maunakea and Hotel streets.

As Janet Roberts was being taken away by paramedics, she asked her son one question.

"She asked, 'Did they get the guys?' and I said yes, I didn't let them leave," he said.

Police closed Beretania Street between Smith and Maunakea while they investigated the incident, backing up traffic throughout the downtown area.

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