Residents describe close call as runaway roller crashes into Pearl City home


A Pearl City family experienced a close call Thursday when heavy equipment rolled down a street and crashed into a home.

It happened on Auhuhu Street in Pacific Palisades.

A roller machine used to smooth freshly paved roads somehow got loose. It rolled down the steep street, crashed through the front of the home, and smashed a parked car.

A man, his wife, and their 10-year-old granddaughter were home at the time.

“We had just gotten through having our saimin, and grandpa went to the back room, and then we heard this crash. So when we heard the crash, we just jumped and somebody came out, ‘Are you okay? Okay?’ The door flings open and we don’t know what had happened after that. This was a bad crash. We are all in shock,” said resident Elizabeth Alayon. “It’s totaled. It’s a mess. It’s damaged, well, half of the front of the house.”

Granddaughter Raychel Alayon is still shaken by what happened.

“I heard the stuff coming down. I heard somebody yelling. Once it crashed, my grandpa had already moved into the other room, and I was just sitting, and I couldn’t move because I was shocked,” she said, thinking, “Am I going to die? Is everybody okay? What happened? And I had to move and try not to step into the glass that all fell on the ground from the side where the house was.”

The family came out to find a huge pavement roller wedged into part of the home, one the Alayons have lived in for the past 50 years.

Construction company Grace Pacific was contracted by the city to do road repaving work.

Owner Alexander and Baldwin says it is investigating what caused the roller to lose control, and it’s too early to speculate.

“We’re grateful that the residents reported that no one was injured. The safety of the public and our work crews is the top priority, so we’re conducting a thorough investigation to find out exactly what happened,” said spokesman Darren Pai.

For now, the Alayon family say they’re thankful.

“Thank God we’re all safe and nobody got hurt,” said Elizabeth Alayon.

Pai says the company is working to find the family somewhere to stay.

The operator of the roller machine was taken to the hospital as a precaution.

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