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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Another older pedestrian dies crossing Farrington

By Gordon Y.K. Pang
Advertiser Staff Writer

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WAI'ANAE An 80-year-old woman was struck and killed yesterday while crossing Farrington Highway near Poka'i Bay, the second fatal pedestrian accident in the area in a week.

Ten pedestrians have died on O'ahu this year, compared with five by this time last year.

"We need a traffic signal here," said Staci Pang, who lives on Army Street, the cross street where the accident happened.

Like the Feb. 26 accident that killed Carl Johansen, 63, as he crossed Farrington a mile away in front of the Makaha Surfside condominiums there is no traffic signal at Farrington and Army streets.

Another similarity: In both accidents, police said, a car stopped to let the pedestrian cross but that a second vehicle did not, hitting the pedestrian.

Yesterday's accident was reported just before 4 p.m. at 85-803 Farrington Highway, near the Island Mini Mart.

The Honolulu Medical Examiner's Office identified the woman as Tapu T. Neddermeyer of Wai'anae.

Neddermeyer was taken to The Queen's Medical Center in critical condition, and died at 5:22 p.m..

Police said Neddermeyer was in a crosswalk, walking in the mauka direction from the convenience store to Wai'anae Speed Wash, a laundromat at Farrington and Army Street.

A townbound car in the curb-side lane stopped to let her cross, police said, but a red Honda in the left lane did not stop and struck Neddermeyer, police said.

A 28-year-old woman from Wai'anae was driving the red Honda, police said.

THROWN 40 TO 50 FEET

Stevie Cordeira, 19, witnessed the collision from about 50 feet away as she was walking to the convenience store from her Army Street home.

Cordeira said she heard a screech and saw an elderly woman struck and thrown into the air.

"While the lady (driver and her car) was still going, she was still in the air," Cordeira said, estimating that the impact sent Neddermeyer at least 6 feet in the air.

The windshield along the passenger side of the Honda had a spider-weblike crack.

Sgt. Ridela Lorenzo of the Honolulu Police Department Traffic Division said Neddermeyer landed 40 to 50 feet from the point of impact.

Cordeira said the elderly woman had salt-and-pepper hair in a bun and wore a green mu'umu'u with pink flowers.

Cordeira said she worries about her grandfather, almost 80, who also walks across that intersection to get to the store.

"People speed up before you cross," she said.

Pang, 18, Cordeira's best friend and next-door neighbor, agreed.

"When they see you, they don't even slow down," Pang said of drivers who speed along Farrington.

The two women said that not only have they seen numerous accidents there, they've seen the stop sign at the intersection replaced several times because it gets smashed repeatedly by errant drivers.

SOME OPPOSE LIGHTS

After last week's death in Makaha, the general manager of the Makaha Surfside circulated a petition calling for a traffic signal at the 'Alawa Place intersection where Johansen was killed.

But while some residents have talked about the need for a traffic signal at the intersection, others have said there already are too many traffic lights in the area, Wai'anae Coast Neighborhood Board Chairwoman Patty Teruya said last week.

The driver who killed Johansen fled and has not been found. Witnesses described the car as a blue Honda or perhaps a larger vehicle.

Reach Gordon Y.K. Pang at gpang@honoluluadvertiser.com.