Woman struck by school bus dies


POSTED: Saturday, February 20, 2010

A 65-year-old Honolulu woman was killed after being hit by a school bus on its way to 'Iolani School yesterday, becoming the fifth pedestrian fatality on Oahu so far this year. In all of 2009, there was a total of 11 such deaths.

At about 6:35 a.m. a Roberts Hawaii school bus driven by a 67-year-old Honolulu woman was traveling south on University Avenue in the left lane, crossed the intersection with Kapiolani Boulevard and struck the pedestrian.

Police said the pedestrian was crossing University from east to west when she was hit. It has not been determined whether she was in a marked crosswalk.

The woman appeared to have been dragged at least 20 feet by the bus and pinned under the rear tire on the driver's side.

;[Preview]  School bus kills woman at busy intersection

A bus carrying children struck and killed a woman at a busy intersection this morning.

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She suffered severe head and bodily injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene at 6:51 a.m. Her name was not released last night as her family had yet to be notified.

Forty students from 'Iolani School, Sacred Hearts Academy and Saint Louis School were on the bus when the collision occurred. The driver of a second Roberts Hawaii bus arrived soon afterward and supervised the elementary to high school-age children. A third bus was sent to pick up the children.

“;None of the children had any health issues or physical injuries, so they were all taken to school,”; said Roberts Hawaii spokesman Wally Zimmermann.

Company officials immediately contacted their parents and schools. “;Each one of the schools is provided counseling, if necessary,”; said Zimmermann.

; The bus driver was interviewed by the police and a Roberts Hawaii supervisor. In compliance with the company's policy, the driver was taken immediately to a drug testing facility yesterday morning. The test results are expected in a few days, said Zimmermann.

The driver, whose name was not released, has 17 years of experience. She was put on administrative leave pending a police investigation.

“;Everyone at Roberts Hawaii, along with the rest of the community, mourns this loss of life,”; said Executive Vice President David Goya in a written statement.

'Iolani School spokeswoman Cathy Lee Chong said there were about four 'Iolani students on the bus when the accident occurred. Students sign up directly with Roberts Hawaii for bus transportation services.

The students, one in sixth grade and three in high school, appeared to be fine.

Officials at Saint Louis School and Sacred Hearts Academy could not be reached for comment.

Barbara Kim Stanton, state director of AARP-Hawaii, said the high number of senior pedestrians' deaths in less than two months is distressful.

“;We're only in the second month of the year, and we're already on the 50 percent mark (five in 2010 compared with a total of 11 in 2009) that we had for all of last year,”; Stanton said. “;This is really disturbing.”;

Star-Bulletin reporter Katherine Nichols contributed to this report.





        Yesterday's pedestrian fatality is the fifth on Oahu this year compared with 11 pedestrian fatalities on the island in all of 2009.

» Jan. 7: Sachiko Kojima, 52, of Tokyo was crossing Kaiolu Street when she was struck by a van that turned left from Kuhio Avenue. Kojima died the following day from head injuries. She was in a marked crosswalk when she was struck by the van.


» Jan. 12: Hideno T. Matsumoto, 81, of Nuuanu died after she was struck by a Lexus while attempting to cross Pali Highway near Dowsett Avenue. She died at the Queen's Medical Center from multiple internal injuries. Matsumoto was in a marked crosswalk when she was hit.


» Jan. 14: Yui Tung Ng, 73, of Kukui Gardens was struck by a vehicle while crossing North Vineyard Boulevard at Aala Street. He was in a marked crosswalk when struck by the vehicle. Ng died the following day at Queen's Medical Center from major head injuries.


» Jan. 18: Ray Kanemori, 61, of Ahuimanu died after he was hit by a Chevrolet Impala sedan. The vehicle was operated by a suspected drunken driver who was driving the wrong way on Walina Street. Kanemori was taken to the Queen's Medical Center where he later died.


» Yesterday: A Honolulu woman, 65, was pronounced dead after she was struck by a Roberts Hawaii school bus while she was walking across University Avenue. She suffered major head and bodily injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene. It is unknown whether she was in a marked crosswalk.