Families impacted by deadly Kakaako crash demand changes

A remembrance was held Saturday for the victims of the fatal Kakaako crash that happened three weeks ago. 

It comes on a day when another Hawaii family will grieve because of a senseless crash that left a 32-year-old woman dead overnight. 

Another family—that became the message as news spread this morning of the crash and on a day families of the victims and survivors of the Kakaako crash seek change to keep drunk drivers off the road.

Change was the biggest message to legislatures, law enforcement and the judiciary at the event held by the Visitor Aloha Society of Hawaii. 

“This is beyond a doubt the most tragic incident that we have seen involving visitors,” said Jessica Lani Rich, VASH president. 

“Motor vehicles are weapons in the hands of drunk drivers and this was like a bomb going off in a crowd of people and if there’s anything we can do to prevent this from happening again, we need to do it,” said Debbie McCurdy, whose daughter was seriously injured in the crash. 

Melissa Lau, whose husband was killed in the crash, kept emphasizing to others, ‘you never think something so tragic will ever happen to you.’

“We need to stop looking at things and saying ‘Oh, this is another tragedy or another freak accident’— I don’t want to hear that. These people were not in the wrong place, these people were in a place where they felt was supposed to be safe,” she said. 

Others were demanding more enforcement at notoriously deadly intersections. 

“I cross the street at Piikoi and Ala Moana almost every day and every single turn of the light someone runs a red light,” said Paul McCurdy, whose daughter was seriously injured in the crash. 

“They run through that thing constantly and I have never seen HPD at that corner,” he said. 

Others were urging that legislatures bring back red light cameras which not only catches speeders but can be permanent solution at those deadly intersections. 

“Some legislatures say red light cameras are not good because what about the privacy of people whose picture is taken,” said Chad Taniguchi, Emeritus Director Hawaii Bicycle League. 

“That’s laughable, you’re worrying about the lives of people versus these petty talks about privacy, its way unbalanced,” he said.

One positive change has come from many hotels, which have switched from public parking to valet parking for a reason. 

“Now people have to come to us for their car keys and we’ve been stopping people from driving,” said Jerry Dolak, Hawaii Hotel Visitor Industry Association president. 

Everyone hoping something good can come from a tragedy.