The 13-year-old boy who was critically injured Thursday in a skateboarding accident on Salt Lake Boulevard is a seventh-grader at Aliamanu Middle School. On Friday an administrator told Hawaii News Now campus authorities talked to students about the accident and offered grief counseling for kids who needed it.
Bill Griffin lives on Salt Lake Boulevard. He said parents should use the tragedy as an opportunity to teach.
"Just be more aware of what your kids are doing and make sure they understand the dangers of getting close to traffic and occupying the same space as cars," he said.
Honolulu police said the teenager was struck by a Dodge Durango near the intersection of Salt Lake Boulevard and Maluna Street. Witnesses said he was riding his skateboard down Maluna when he rolled into the crosswalk against a stop signal. Some who live on Maluna said skateboarders frequently zoom down the street and into the boulevard..
"I live right here on the corner and I see the kids doing it all the time. They're just playing with their lives," said one resident.
The teenager is hospitalized in critical condition. He's suffering from head injuries. Emergency responders did not find a skateboard helmet. Last year two teenagers died after falling from skateboards. Neither was wearing a helmet.
City councilman Joey Manahan has revived his call for a helmet law. He also wants to remind riders that skateboarding on sidewalks and streets is illegal.
"Please don't skateboard on our streets. If you are going to skateboard please wear the appropriate safety gear," he said.
Residents on Maluna Street said they feel for the boy and they don't want to see any other youngsters get injured or killed.
"When it comes to being in the road on a motorcycle, bicycle, anything that you ride, skates, I don't care what it is, you need to be more careful," one woman said.
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