HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - A high-speed crash in Punchbowl is prompting renewed calls to crack down on speeding and street racing in downtown residential neighborhoods.
On Thursday morning, a black sports car smashed into a rock wall at the corner of Alapai and Prospect Streets, hurling debris and large rocks into the yard that barely missed the residents.
Moments before the crash, security camera video showed the car and a silver truck speeding through down Prospect Street, swerving by a bicyclist and forcing four pedestrians off the road before it hit Dylan and Stephanie Pace’s wall.
They were outside on the lanai having a morning cup of coffee when it all happened.
“It’s incredible ... It’s one of the scariest things, I’ve witnessed,” said Dylan Pace. “I’m paranoid to be out there (now)."
He added, “That’s about as close as you can come to death without actually getting killed.”
His wife Stephanie Pace said she was traumatized by the wreck.
“We literally thought we were going to die,” she said. “It makes me physically sick."
Even though the front of the car was smashed up, the driver of the black car apparently didn’t serious suffer injuries because his air bags deployed. The driver of the truck fled the scene.
Stephanie Pace said the driver of the black car told police he was being chased by the truck but other witnesses said it looked like they were racing.
Speeding and street racing has been a problem for years in the Punchbowl, Makiki and Tantalus neighborhoods, putting pedestrians and cyclists at risk.
Back in 2018, an illegal street racer drifting down Tantalus struck and seriously injured professional triathlete Lectie Altman.
The accident ruined Altman’s professional career and the driver was sentenced to a year in prison.
“Street racing, speeding in this area has always been a challenge. It’s always been brought up ... at the neighborhood board," said Susan Lai Young, a longtime member of the Makiki/Lower Punchbowl/Tantalus Neighborhood Board.
But Young thinks the problem has gotten worse during the pandemic.
“Because you have less traffic, people tend to speed," she said. “The other challenge is that you have more pedestrians walking now."
Young urges residents to report speeding and racing so that police will step up patrols.