Brother of elderly pedestrian killed in crosswalk speaks of her kindness


POSTED: Thursday, January 14, 2010

Nuuanu resident Hideno Matsumoto never said a bad word about anyone, according to her brother.

“;She was kind and friendly and soft-spoken,”; said Roy Shimizu. “;She was my best friend and I could depend on her. I don't know what I'm going to do now.”;

Matsumoto, 81, died Tuesday after she was hit by a sport utility vehicle while crossing Pali Highway at Dowsett Avenue. She was in a marked crosswalk when she was hit by a 2004 Lexus driven by a 62-year-old Honolulu woman. Matsumoto was taken to the Queen's Medical Center where she died from multiple internal injuries. Police said speed was not a factor.

Matsumoto was born in Hana, Maui, on March 17, 1928. She worked at hospitals in Chicago, Stamford, Conn., and Santa Barbara, Calif., as a nurse before returning to Hawaii. She worked at Queen's and Shriner's hospital before retiring.

Shimizu said he believes his sister was heading to the supermarket from their Puiwa Road home after walking her nephew's dog Tuesday when she was hit. Matsumoto often caught the bus along Pali Highway.

She was in good health and often met her friends at Ala Moana Center, he said. In her 60s, she married her neighbor, Tadashi Matsumoto, who lived across the street. Four years ago, she returned home to live with her brother after her husband died. Matsumoto enjoyed gardening and helped care for Shimizu.

He described the unsignaled crosswalk as a dangerous place to cross because of motorists who speed down the highway. He recommended that the state build a pedestrian bridge. The crosswalks at the traffic lights are just as bad, he said. “;That's a very dangerous highway, especially with the lights changing so fast. It doesn't give you enough time to walk across, especially for the elderly,”; he said.

“;I feel sad. She was a good person. It always seems to me the good people go first,”; said Shimizu.

Funeral services are pending.