West Oahu community calls for change after spike in fatal pedestrian accidents

Published: Jul. 6, 2016 at 11:46 PM HST
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NANAKULI, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Police are still looking for the driver in a fatal hit-and-run crash that happened in Nanakuli on Monday, July 4. The crash was the latest in a string of deadly pedestrian accidents in the area and community leaders are speaking out.

Police say Monday night's hit-and-run accident that took 46-year-old Allen Ramos' life marks the eighth pedestrian fatality along Farrington Highway this year.

"That's probably the steepest rise I've seen in a short period," said Maj. Darren Izumo of the HPD Traffic Division.

A day before that, a woman, who has not yet been identified, died at the hospital after being struck by a van crossing the same highway near Puhano Road.

"It really shines the light on the fact that this really is becoming an epidemic," Sen. Maile Shimabukuro said.

The two recent pedestrian accidents come just days after the community, HPD and lawmakers met on Thursday, June 30 to wave signs and discuss ways to improve pedestrian safety.

For the family of 19-year-old Kamehameha Graduate Kaulana Werner, they say they just want drivers to slow down.

Werner was struck and killed crossing the street in front of his house on Nanakuli on April 24.

Just a month after that accident, 79-year-old Robert Sadumaru also died crossing the street near Waianae Store where he worked for 63 years.

"There's a lot of issues at hand here and it's not as simple as changing this or changing that. I wish I had the solution," Sadumaru's coworker, Kyle Okimoto said.

Residents suggest installing better lighting, repainting signs and road lines as well as getting rid of some crosswalks located far away from traffic signals and installing speed cameras.

"If you know that even if there's no physical police presence there, you could be caught on film speeding or doing any other illegal activity on the highway. Hopefully that could be a deterrent," Senator Shimabukuro said.

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