KAIMUKI (HawaiiNewsNow) - A heartbroken family is trying to prevent another tragedy. Relatives of Tayler Pangan-Fergerstrom said changes are needed at a dangerous intersection in Kaimuki. They have collected nearly 200 signatures for an online petition.
Marshall Fergerstrom finally found the strength to visit the spot where his granddaughter died. Pangan-Fergerstrom, 18, was killed nearly two weeks ago when her vehicle slammed into the railing near Kaimuki Middle School.
"Tayler would want us to make a difference. She would want us to be here, speak up, not just fade into the background," said her grandfather.
Her family wants to bring back the four-way stop that was replaced by a traffic signal at Kilauea and 18th Avenues. Cars coming down the hill can now go through the green light instead of being forced to stop at the bottom.
"To me, it's like a death trap for kids who don't know the conditions: the dip, the angle of the road, and especially when it raining, hydroplaning," said Anthony Pangan, Tayler's father.
Neighbors said there have been several accidents in the area in recent years. Just a few days after Tayler's deadly crash, another vehicle hit the railing about half a block away. Ling Cordova had her parked car damaged by an out-of-control vehicle in 2009. She has also rushed out of her home many times to help victims on the road.
"When you see something like that, you can't get the images out of your head. It just bothers me. Every time I close my eyes I see the cars. I see the people, the faces," said Cordova.
According to the Kaimuki Neighborhood Board chair, the city may have installed the traffic signal after pedestrian accidents involving students. Residents have been going back and forth for years.
"There are both sides of the issue," explained chair Vernon Tam. "Some people say, 'Don't change it. What's wrong? It doesn't need fixing.''
Other suggestions from Tayler's family include speed bumps and more signs. The neighborhood board will take up the issue at 7 p.m. on November 16 at Kaimuki Christian Church.