State Urges Caution With Roadside Memorials

Lt. Frank Fujii
Lt. Frank Fujii

by Beth Hillyer

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Because the second fatal crash occurred while mourners were placing flowers at the first crash site, it brings up serious safety issues with these roadside memorials. It's a potentially deadly ritual.

You see roadside memorials like this one all over our roadways.

But there is plenty of danger involved when grieving takes place on the side of the road.

Two roadside memorials, one scene; the location of the two accidents over the weekend.

Police Captain Frank Fujii says on Saturday 15 mourners seemed to be safely off the road. "It was smoothed over they were definitely off the roadway adjacent to Kamehameha Highway."

In Kailua a white cross marks where Patty Adams was killed while crossing Kalanianaole highway. Friends decorated her memorial with teddy bears and photos.

The Department of Transportation's Scott Ishikawa adds, "We know roadside memorials are part of the grieving process and usually let them stay up for 30 days out of respect to the family."

But state workers will tear down a memorial if they think it's unsafe.

Ishikawa explains, "I think a lot of families put up roadside memorials not only as part of grieving process about what happened they don't want same thing occurring it's just a real tragedy what happened Saturday night."

There are ways to protect yourself when building or visiting a roadside shrine.

Ishikawa cautions, "We want them to be careful particularly on the side of the road at night, in general situations if you are going to be on the side of the highway in the middle of the night please wear bright clothing."