A memorial for Annie Runland at the KCC Farmers Market
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -
The popular Farmers Market at Kapiolani Community College reopened Saturday morning, one week after an accident in which a delivery truck struck and killed a 27-year-old woman.
The woman, Annie Runland, was remembered in a memorial at the spot where she was hit by the Ma'o Organic Farms delivery truck about an hour before the market was set to open last week Saturday.
People left flowers and gifts, and paused to remember Runland, while nearby the booth where she worked continued business.
"We don't want to turn a tragedy for us into a tragedy for the community," said Pete Thompson of Licious Dishes. "The Farmers Market is important for the vendors, important for the public."
The Hawaii Farm Bureau, which operates the KCC Farmers Market, said it took steps to increase safety. For example, the general public wasn't allowed onto the grounds until the 7:30 a.m. start time, and had to leave the area at 11, when the market ended.
"The other thing that we're looking at is having assistance for people who are moving vehicles, so there's a spotter outside the vehicle to watch and make sure that things are clear," said Hawaii Farm Bureau president Chris Manfredi.
The Farm Bureau said it was the first fatal accident in the nearly 11-year history of the KCC Farmers Market, where some 65 vendors draw about 7,000 visitors every Saturday morning.
Ma'o Farms was not present at any farmers markets today. It's usual spot at KCC became a shrine for Runland, with photos and leis. A sign informed Ma'o customers that it was sending aloha and condolences to all involved.
"We have all the aloha in the world for them, and still do," said Thompson. "We have no animus, no blame. It was an accident."
Runland's family, including her mother, also visited the market and echoed their sentiments for the Ma'o Farms driver involved in the accident.
"If she were here right now I'd give her a hug," said Sarah Van Vegten, Runland's mother. "My heart goes out to her, too."
Runland said she and the family were overwhelmed by the outpouring of flowers, gifts and aloha.
"Everybody's been so kind. It's helped me get through this, and I'll remember it always."
The incident remains under investigation by the Honolulu Police Department. Manfredi said the Farm Bureau may institute further changes when the investigation is completed.