Waipahu community concerned after 2 children hit by car in crosswalk

Courtesy: Honolulu Emergency Services Department.

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It’s a simple intersection at Waipahu and Mahoe Streets. But it’s right next to August Ahrens Elementary School.

Wednesday morning’s accident is not the first.

Wendell Pinero sends his son to the school — the same school he attended. He has a documented list of accidents at the intersection that goes back for years.

“September 18, 2012. Boy struck intersection of Waipahu and Mahoe. And then today’s incident. That’s too many. Too many,” Pinero said.

Part of the problem may be the growth of this community.

“A lot of our schools were built over 50 years ago and the communities just grew up around them. So at this particular school, it has 1,400 students and over 75 staff members, so getting in, in the morning, dropping off with the general public trying to rush work and they get impatient,” August Ahrens Elementary School Safety Officer Mark Behrens said.

School officials say they are doing what they can to educate parents and students.

“I think we’ve done everything we can as a school, we continue to do that. The biggest concern right now is that drivers have to be mindful that it’s a school zone,” August Ahrens Elementary School Principal Hanh Nguyen said.

Parents KHON2 spoke with said they would like to have a crossing guard at this intersection. But it’s an involved process between the school and the police department.

“We have put in an advertisement for someone who wants to take the position. They have to go through a very rigorous training to become a crossing guard, so that’s an ongoing process right now,” Principal Nguyen said.

It’s a small intersection and a major problem for parents and children in the Waipahu neighborhood.

“You want to see a crossing guard there?” KHON2 asked.

“At least got to have a crossing guard or the city has to put some kind of blockade over there, so the kids can see cars coming and going,” Pinero said.

Related story: 2 children struck by vehicle in Waipahu

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