After critical crash, calls for crackdown on street racing grow

Driver arrested in critical Tantalus Drive crash
Published: Jan. 26, 2018 at 2:58 AM HST|Updated: Jan. 26, 2018 at 5:42 PM HST
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(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A 20-year-old man has been arrested after a crash on Tantalus Drive that critically injured a bicyclist Thursday, Honolulu police said.

Police arrested Taylor Liang for first-degree negligent injury. He has been released pending investigation.

The victim has been identified as 33-year-old Lectie Altman, a well-known triathlete and Honolulu real estate agent.

Police say the crash happened around 5:30 p.m. Thursday near the 2900 block of Tantalus Drive.

Bicyclist Lawrence Friedman says he was riding down Tantalus Drive behind Altman and her group when they heard revving engines and screeching tires.

"The car was coming up uncontrollably. He actually went off the road on one side, came back across on the other side, and when he came across the other lane of traffic out of control that's when he hit the woman head on," Friedman said.

Friedman says the impact was so hard that Altman flew about 40 feet. He says he immediately rushed over to help her and she was still awake and conscious.

"I was trying to comfort her and I could see at least her head wasn't damaged. But she had some catastrophic injuries to her body," said Friedman.

Altman was taken to the hospital in critical condition.

Police say drugs and alcohol do not appear to be factors in the crash.

Tantalus Drive is notorious for its turns and curves, sometimes making the road dangerous. Illegal racing and drifting on Tantalus is so popular, its featured in social media posts.

Residents and bicycling advocates say its a major public safety issue, and they're hoping police will step up patrols.

"We're working with the police to ask them to have more enforcement so that people who don't obey the law get ticketed, arrested, put in jail, whatever it is," said Chad Taniguchi, executive director of the Hawaii Bicycling League.

But HPD says its up to the officers who patrol that district.

"We've had a continuing problem with street racing, illegal street racing, for at least the last 15 years I've been doing enforcement at night. It's something that hasn't gone away despite our best enforcement efforts," said Lt. Ben Moszkowicz, Honolulu Police Department.

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