HONOLULU (KHON2) — As Mothers Against Drunk Driving rallied the community together for their annual fundraiser to help stop crashes from happening.
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Honolulu police said a man in his 20s was rushed to the hospital in critical condition after being hit by an alleged drunk teen.
Police said the 19-year-old was driving the wrong way and was taken to the hospital in serious condition, arrested for DUI, and released pending investigation.
The crash occurred hours before Mothers Against Drunk Driving held its annual 5k fundraising walk in Kakaako with a similar scenario changing the life of MADD’s National President.
“On May 4, 2021 I was living my dream as a TV news reporter when I was hit head on by a wrong way drunk driver with drugs in the car,” said MADD National President Tess Rowland. “Since then I’ve had seven surgeries, four large scars, I live in chronic pain all for a crash that didn’t have to happen. Drunk driving isn’t an accident, it isn’t a mistake, it’s a choice.”
“Every 79 seconds someone is killed or injured in this county by a drunk driver so unfortunately despite what people think the issue is on the rise and it doesn’t have to be,” continued Rowland.
Yesterday an 18-year-old man died after crashing his vehicle in the Waikele area earlier this week.
HPD said the man was speeding and collided into a concrete curb and a tree. Police believe alcohol was a factor in that crash too.
“I think the whole designated driver movement was a lot because of MADD and we need people to think hey you can have a drink, just don’t drive and having victims here having MADD here and law enforcement, we’re all here to support them to make our streets as safe as possible,” said Honolulu Prosecutor Steve Alm.
According to Honolulu Police, there have been 40 traffic deaths on Oahu so far this year compared to just 37 this time in 2022.
In 2020 there were 27 deaths statewide related to drunk driving.
The MADD walk raised $110,000 with over 500 walkers showing support this morning.
“All the funds raised here in Hawaii stay in Hawaii to support victims, educate the public of the dangers of impaired driving, support law enforcement and advance legislation to prevent drunk and drugged driving once and for all,” added Rowland.
HPD said this mornings crash remains under investigation.