Victims' families sue state over 'dangerous' H-3 on-ramp - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Victims' families sue state over 'dangerous' H-3 on-ramp

(Image: Hawaii News Now) (Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now) (Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now) (Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now) (Image: Hawaii News Now)
KANEOHE, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

The families of three people who were killed on a Kaneohe on-ramp that leads to the H-3 Freeway have sued the state, saying the section of roadway is dangerous.

Between August 2013 and July 2014, two motorcyclists and a teenage girl on a scooter died on the on-ramp when they crashed into the guard rail.

"They're just running right into the guard rail because they have no notice that the turn is that sharp," said attorney John Choi, who is representing the families of two of the victims.

In the two lawsuits, the families say the state failed to post signs and other devices to adequately warn riders of a "dangerous turn."

"You're going 55 miles an hour, and then you're going on an on-ramp to another 55 mile-an-hour freeway, and there is only one 25 mile-an-hour sign at the very beginning, a little white one," Choi said.

Long Huynh, 47, was killed in August 2013, when his motorcycle hit the guardrail. The federal police officer left behind a wife and two children.

Seven months later, 16-year-old Nicolette Vares lost control and crashed her scooter into the guardrail. She died at the hospital.

Her father was behind her on his motorcycle.

"There can be no greater pain for a parent than to lose a child," Choi said.

According to Choi's researcher, the deaths were among 79 accidents on the on-ramp from 2003 to 2015.

"There's no competing traffic. There's no signal lights. There's no stops. And there's been 79 collisions," he said. "We have yet to fully investigate each and every one of those. It'll be tragic if we find more fatalities."

The Hawaii Department of Transportation said it can't comment on the lawsuits, but wants the public to know safety is high priority.

The wrongful death suits seek damages and that the state install more speed limit signs on the on-ramp.

"If there is any sort of allegation that their speeding was a factor, it's a direct result of the lack of signage," Choi said.

The suits also call for the state to put in flashing lights and raised markers, plus directional arrows that stretch the length of the hairpin turn.

"We'd like to work with the state before the lawsuit is over to immediately get in place signage and safety measures so that we can protect the public," Choi said.

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