An erased crosswalk renews calls for safer roads after elderly man’s death

It was Oahu’s first traffic fatality of the year.

An erased crosswalk renews calls for safer roads after elderly man’s death

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - For Usman Sahibzada, dealing with the sudden loss of his father is heartbreaking.

“It was such shocking news. I’m not even able to absorb it now. He was the healthiest person of that age,” said Sahibzada.

It’s also been difficult for his 5-year-old son to understand what happened to his grandfather, 86-year-old Maqbul Ur Rahman.

He was an educator originally from Pakistan who moved to Hawaii from New York late last year. The family lived together in a condo along Hawaii Kai Drive.

“He was a great person. He was a very principled man,” Sahibzada added.

Police say Rahman was crossing the street, not in a marked crosswalk and in a poorly lit area when he was hit by a black Jaguar driven by a 24-year-old man.

It happened Monday night at about 6:45 on Hawaii Kai Drive. Police said speed and alcohol are not believed to be factors in the crash.

It was Oahu’s first traffic fatality of the year.

But just 50 yards away from the crash site, sits a crosswalk that is highlighting safety concerns for the community.

Hawaii Kai neighborhood board members say in May of last year, they were told by a city representative that the city had accidentally covered up a crosswalk. They were also told the crosswalk would be replaced, but there was no timeline. The city isn’t commenting.

"That's totally unacceptable. It's something that we should not put up with. It's something that we say now that we know what the mistake is, let's correct it," said Rep. Gene Ward (R-Hawaii Kai, Kalama Valley)

"Accidents happen. I consider this also as an accident that should not happen," said Sahibzada.

Community members have been demanding a reinstalled crosswalk for months and say it may have been an extra measure of safety.

Neighborhood board member, Maxine Rutkowski, says the city told the board a new crosswalk needed to be ADA compliant to be put back in. For now, she's asking for temporary road measures like enhanced striping and reflective dots.

Meanwhile, the father of the 24-year-old driver told Hawaii News Now his son was borrowing the car that night of the accident and is traumatized by the incident.

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