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Elderly man dies in pedestrian crash on Pali Hwy. in Nuuanu

HONOLULU (KHON2) - An elderly man who was critically injured in a pedestrian crash in Nuuanu Wednesday has died.

The accident happened at around 12:23 p.m. on Pali Highway near the Wood Street intersection.

According to Emergency Medical Services, paramedics took the 83-year-old to the hospital in critical condition.  He was later pronounced dead.

Investigators say the man was in a marked crosswalk. Vehicles in the first two lanes were slowing down so he could cross, and he was hit by a truck.

"The third vehicle couldn't see the pedestrian over the other two vehicles. He was unable to stop in time, and the other issue is the pedestrian, from witness statements, he had stepped out in front of the car and then jumped back, and when the vehicle swerved, it was in the same direction so it caused the motor vehicle collision," said Lt. James Slayter, Honolulu Police Department.

The town-bound lanes were closed until 2 p.m.

Paula Kurashige and her neighbors gathered at the intersection. Word spread quickly because residents are always concerned about pedestrian safety.

"I'm devastated. This is devastating," she said. "Anytime you walk from Diamond Head to the Ewa side (of Pali Highway), it's dangerous, because look at these cars. They have no pity, none. No pity at all."

"A lot of people in this neighborhood are a lot older, and they always take the (Number) 4 bus down to wherever they have to go," said resident Kawika Lyons.

Residents tell us the victim lives on Wood Street.

"He's the very one who told me, 'Paula, you have to wear a vest.' He walks up and down here all the time with that vest," Kurashige said.

While residents say cars coming from Kailua zip down the Pali all the time, police tell us at this point speed does not appear to be a factor. Still many believe more safety measures are needed.

"We have asked for lights over here, or for something that goes over," Kurashige said.

In a statement, the Hawaii Department of Transportation said:

"At HDOT we remain concerned with the recent pedestrian crashes statewide and send our wishes for a full recovery to the victim of today’s collision on Pali Highway.

We are currently working on the first phase of our Pali Highway improvements project, which involves the repaving of Pali Highway from Kamehameha Highway to Waokanaka Street and installation of LED street lights along Pali Highway from Kamehameha Highway to Vineyard Boulevard. Design of the second phase of this project includes evaluation of the pedestrian facilities on Pali Highway from Waokanaka Street to Vineyard Boulevard. We will consult with the community as the design for these improvements takes shape and are looking at other options to protect crosswalks statewide such as gateway in-street sign treatments and Rapid Rectangular Flashing Beacons at appropriate crosswalks.

In the meantime we ask everyone to follow posted speed limits and to look out for one another. We are currently at 32 pedestrian fatalities statewide, which is 32 too many."


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