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NUUANU, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) -
Honolulu police taped off the front parking lot of the Queen Emma Gardens' Prince Tower along Vineyard Boulevard this morning. Just after 8 o'clock, police say a commercial garbage truck hit one of the building's longtime residents, an 88-year-old woman.
According to HPD Traffic Division Lieutenant Bobby Towne, they believe the woman was coming back from her morning walk. She was walking behind a row of parked vehicles, next to the dump truck. He said, at some point she crossed the lot toward the building and was behind the truck when backed into her.
The woman was rushed to the Queen's Medical Center in critical condition, but later died.
"From what I was told, she lives here in the Prince Tower and she's lived here at least 30 years or so," said Lt. Towne.
Towne said the driver of the truck owned by Rolloffs Hawaii is in his early 30's. He said he was taken for a mandatory blood draw following the incident.
"At this point, we're not looking at speed or alcohol as a factor, just visibility," Towne added.
Investigators are closely reviewing the truck's surveillance video and inspecting its operations.
"We'll look at the mechanics of the vehicle, the brakes, how its operating," he said. "We'll check to see if the backup warning system is working and whether or not the surveillance or the backup camera system is also working."
Traffic investigators have opened a negligent homicide investigation. The woman's identity is pending release by the Honolulu Medical Examiner.
Towne said that statistically, this would have been the 17th traffic fatality of the year, but that since the incident occurred on private property, the statistic won't make it into the City and County traffic fatality records.
Rolloffs Hawaii released the following statement Monday afternoon:
"A trash collection truck driver from Rolloffs Hawaii, LLC was involved in a fatal accident at Queen Emma Gardens this morning. We are deeply saddened by this tragic accident and our thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected. We take the safety of the public and our employees very seriously, and we are cooperating with the Honolulu Police Department to ensure it has all information that may be helpful in relation to this accident. The driver, as a matter of company policy, has been put on administrative leave."