Traffic Accident Sends Elderly Woman To Hospital

Ben Hablutzel
Ben Hablutzel
Police say this 63-year old woman was the driver of the SUV that struck the pedestrian
Police say this 63-year old woman was the driver of the SUV that struck the pedestrian
Sgt. Daniel Kaholokula
Sgt. Daniel Kaholokula

MAKIKI (KHNL) - An elderly woman is in the hospital Thursday night after she was struck by a sport utility vehicle Thursday morning. She was hit on the corner of Piikoi and South Beretania Street near the Garden House at about 9:45.

Police shut down a portion of Piikoi and Keeaumoku for three hours to investigate the crash. The woman is now at Queen's Medical Center in critical condition. Police said she was in the crosswalk when she was hit.

Pedestrians in the area said this type of accident happens too often.

Pedestrians and drivers make it one of the busiest intersections on Oahu. Thursday morning, the driver of a Kia SUV hit a pedestrian at a marked crosswalk.

"I'm very concerned because I walk about six miles a day and I've seen too many times where people just don't stop like they're supposed to," said Ben Hablutzel, a Waikiki resident.

Police said the driver made a left turn on a green light, when she hit an elderly pedestrian.

"No, I didn't see her," said the unidentified 63-year-old woman who only spoke Korean. She said she doesn't know what happened and she's still in shock.

Although the investigation is on-going, it appears the driver may be at fault.

KHNL asked police officials, who has the right of way when there's a green light both for the driver and the pedestrian?

"The pedestrian in the crosswalk would have the right of way," said Sergeant Daniel Kaholokula of the Honolulu Police Department.

Still, drivers say barriers sometimes affect what they can see. Some say part of the problem are low bushes near intersections, which make it difficult to see shorter pedestrians.

Ultimately, both drivers and pedestrians need to stay alert and watch out for one another.

"Don't assume anything and double check everything," said Hablutzel.

There's no evidence speeding or alcohol are involved in this latest car versus pedestrian accident, but they're still investigating.

Every year, more than 400 pedestrians are injured in traffic accidents on Oahu. So far this year, pedestrian accidents have claimed the lives of seven people. Last year, during this same time, two pedestrians were killed. In 2005, there were six pedestrian fatalities.