Elderly pedestrian killed while crossing Pali Highway - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Elderly pedestrian killed while crossing Pali Highway

Maj. WIlliam Chur Maj. WIlliam Chur

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - It's been a deadly start to 2010 for pedestrians. Oahu recorded its second pedestrian fatality of the year Tuesday, when an elderly woman was killed while crossing Pali Highway.

The Medical Examiner has identified the victim as Hideno Matsumoto, 81, of Honolulu.

In an effort to re-open the heavily-used roadway more quickly, traffic investigators took to the skies.

A pair of shoes sat in the middle of Pali Highway following a deadly pedestrian crash. A circle with an 'X' marked the point of impact.

Investigators say Matsumoto was using a crosswalk near Dowsett Avenue, having already made it across the Kailua-bound lanes, when an SUV plowed into her.

"Officers got here and they found the victim, who was lying on the roadway," Maj. William Chur, Honolulu Police Department, said. "The driver was still at the scene."

Police took the 62-year-old woman who was driving the SUV in for alcohol testing, which is standard procedure.

"It didn't appear that speed or alcohol was involved in this accident," Chur said. "But that will be an issue that's brought out in the complete investigation."

The investigation forced the closure of the Honolulu-bound side of Pali. Cars backed up as far back as Castle Junction, as traffic was re-routed.

With a wide enough roadway to land on, and not too many trees and power lines overhead, HPD's chopper was called in to assist.

Investigators say when the conditions are right, the helicopter can help them take photos, map a scene and re-open a road more quickly. They say they've used it for crash investigations about half a dozen times now.

For police, responding to the busy highway for a fatality is becoming all too common.

"This half-mile stretch of Pali Highway over the years has been a pretty dangerous place for pedestrians," Chur said.

The number of pedestrian fatalities has been falling in recent years. Ten pedestrians died on Oahu's roads in 2009, compared to 14 in 2008 and 20 back in 2007.

Copyright 2010 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly