HPU Student killed while walking back to dorm

By Jim Mendoza - bio | email

KANEOHE (HawaiiNewsNow) - A memorial of flowers and a sympathy card sat on the median fronting Hawaii Pacific University's windward campus. It stood just feet from where Mariah Danforth-Moore took her final steps Sunday night, before she was killed by a hit-and-run driver.

"I used to live in the same dorm as her. We'd always wave at each other. She was always so happy," HPU student Mary Hughes said.

Honolulu police said Danforth-Moore was in the crosswalk on the HPU side of Kamehameha Highway when she was struck by a white sports sedan that kept going.

Stephanie Ng was a classmate.

"To think about the fact that she lost her life, that young, because of someone so irresponsible," she said.

Last month the state installed a pedestrian controlled warning system. Flashing yellow lights alert drivers someone's crossing. But students say it's still a risk.

"Cars fly through here all the time going very fast. I could see how someone could glance away really quick, look up, and there's a student there," Joshua Clifton said.

"I'm glad that they did put in the signs and the lighting. But I feel that it doesn't help enough," student Precious Binas said.

The state Department of Transportation will review whether a stop light is necessary, and if the volume of pedestrians would warrant one.

"Castle junction is a major, major intersection. So whatever light goes in there, it has to time properly so that the traffic coming in and out of that intersection can continue to flow properly," DOT spokesman Dan Meisenzahl said.

Danforth-Moore was from Oneida, Wisconsin. The 19-year-old sophomore majored in psychology.

"Our HPU 'ohana grieves with Mariah's family and friends, and our counselors are working now to help students, faculty and staff to deal with this tragic accident," HPU president Geoffrey Bannister said in a written statement.

"I had one class with her. She seemed like a really nice girl," Ng said.

Condolences are being posted on Facebook as word spreads of Danforth-Moore's death.

In high school she was an honor student and was on the tennis team. She enrolled at HPU in September, 2010.

Copyright 2011 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.