Pedestrian fatality raises concerns over Nuuanu crosswalk

Toelupe Toelupe
Toelupe Toelupe
Brad Alves
Brad Alves
Panos Alexander
Panos Alexander

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

NUUANU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Some Nuuanu residents are voicing concerns over a crosswalk in their neighborhood, after a car crashed into a pedestrian there Friday. The elderly victim later died from her injuries.

The concerned residents say they hope something positive can come out of the tragedy, that safety features -- such as additional lighting -- will be installed at that crossing.

People who live in the Makamae apartment complex in Nuuanu say fellow resident Fung Ha Chen was a sweet, elderly woman who would offer them snacks and a smile.

"She was a nice lady," Toelupe Toelupe, condo association president, said. "She always come down, when I usually come on my wheelchair, she always tell me good morning."

"She would be always at the bus stop in the morning, catching the early bus," Brad Alves, fellow tenant, said. "She was pretty healthy. She was old, but pretty healthy."

The 82-year-old died after a car plowed into her at about 5:45 AM Friday. Police say Chen was in a marked crosswalk, just steps away from her complex.

"I felt real bad," Alves said. "I knew, just like I knew her because I used to see her every morning by the bus stop."

Neighbors describe the crosswalk on heavily-traveled Nuuanu Avenue as dangerous. Making matters worse, they say, is a large tree that blocks some of the light from the street lamp at night.

"I almost get hit almost 10 times," Panos Alexander, fellow tenant, said. "If I don't pay close attention, I would have been dead by now. I had 10 close calls."

"The way these people drive, it's like they're driving on the freeway," Toelupe said.

Investigators are still trying to determine if speed was a factor in the crash that killed Chen.

"It make me feel sad," Toelupe said. "It's like the lady, just like my own grandma."

Sixteen pedestrians have been killed on Oahu roadways so far this year. Police say 11 of them were using a crosswalk when they were hit.

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