Businesses look for solutions after car plows into Hawaii Kai restaurant


A Hawaii Kai restaurant remains closed tonight after a car crashed into it on Saturday. Several people were hospitalized, but their injuries were not life-threatening.

This isn’t the first time an accident like this has happened in the area.

A similar accident occurred at the same shopping center a few years ago, and it has some businesses and residents wondering if anything be done to prevent it from happening again.

Workers continued to clean up the mess inside the now boarded up Paina Cafe Sunday afternoon.

No one from the restaurant wanted to speak on camera, but other businesses nearby are still shaken from the chaotic moments after a car plowed through the cafe just 24 hours before.

Honolulu police said a woman in her 70s was behind the wheel.

“One of our coworkers is the one who pulled her out of the car. There was a husband screaming and trying to find his wife, and it was just all very hectic,” Sidney Bandy said.

Bandy was working next door at Teddy’s Bigger Burgers when the crash happened.

“Yea, it was three stalls away from our place,” Bandy said. “It’s a little nerve racking knowing that people can just drive over curbs and into restaurants.”

A similar incident happened at the Koko Marina Center in 2014 when a car drove into the Bank of Hawaii.

Dentist Doug Wrobel’s office was right above the bank. Wrobel told KHON2 what happened at Paina Cafe was like having déjà vu.

“I was real concerned because I don’t want anyone to get hurt. It’s a real miracle that nobody has died yet, I think,” Wrobel said.

Two cars have also driven into the Hawaii Kai post office.

Since then, pillars have been installed in front of the parking spaces near the post office doors.

We wanted to know if anything similar will be done at Koko Marina Center?

KHON2 called the center to find out, and a spokesperson said management will be meeting on Monday to discuss what happened and if any safety measures should be implemented.

“I would just like to see the shopping center put up barriers. I know it’s an expense, but it’s just happening too much lately,” Wrobel said.

The crash is still under investigation.

We’ll let you know if any safety changes are made at Koko Marina Center.

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