Family of teen injured in Kalihi hit-and-run pleads for safer driving in school zones

A Kalihi mother is calling on drivers to slow down after her son was injured in a hit and run accident while walking to school earlier this week.

The boy is okay, but shaken by the incident.

It happened on Tuesday on Kalihi Street just across from Kalakaua Middle School.

We’re told traffic is pretty heavy on this road everyday and we saw several kids use the crosswalks Friday afternoon.

Winnie Uribe told KHON2 her 14-year-old son was walking to school around lunch time.

Her son told her, he was standing at this crosswalk, looked both ways and waited for a truck to pass when it happened.

“When he took two steps, another car kind of sideswiped him and caught him on his arm and he said he almost fell,” Uribe said. “Now he’s thinking about riding again because he’s terrified. He doesn’t want to cross the streets.”

The close call gave him a bruised arm and swollen ankle.

“You could see the tire mark on his shin” Uribe said. “He said the lady who was driving had sort of stopped and rolled down her window and kind of said something, he doesn’t remember what she said and she took off. I was shocked, angry. I just wanted to lash out.”

According to the state Department of Transportation, speed limits in school zones can vary, but generally are set somewhere between 15 and 25 mph.

The posted speed limit on this stretch of Kalihi street is 25 m.p.h. but Uribe lives close by and said drivers don’t always obey the law.

“When it’s not school hours, the motorists do not go 25,” she said.

Other pedestrians we spoke with said the same thing. They didn’t want to speak on camera but one man we spoke with said he only uses crosswalks if it has a signal.

There is a crosswalk with a signal just down the road at a nearby park but the few crosswalks in front of the school don’t have signals.

“It’s really hard and I think they should put maybe those blinking lights or something that’ll let motorists know that they should be stopping soon,” Uribe said.

Uribe said her son doesn’t want to walk to school anymore so they’re working on transportation arrangements.

We’re told traffic studies are conducted when deciding if crosswalks have enough foot traffic to warrant signals.

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