Letter for Saturday, February 16, 2019

Please show more respect for accident victims

Wow! Robin Clark, I think with a little more effort, you could’ve been even more insensitive to the recent accident that occurred at Halfway Bridge, which resulted in the untimely death of a loved one (TGI letter Jan. 24). According to you, it wasn’t a “valid” reason to shut down Kaumualii Highway for the duration of the investigation.

You also came up with this magical timeframe in that the investigation could have been done in “one hour.” All accidents aren’t the same. So to just pull that duration out of the sky is just absolutely ridiculous. I bet if one of your family members were involved in a vehicle mishap you’d want them to use an ample amount of time to conduct a thorough investigation.

Maybe you should practice a little more consideration and respect for other people, because last time I checked the world doesn’t revolve around you and your wife. Oh, and by the way, this accident has also disrupted the lives of the Dizol ohana forever. R.I.P. Soldier…

Ka‘aona Kipuka, Lawai

  1. Ken Conklin February 16, 2019 8:34 am Reply

    Ka‘aona Kipuka is understandably distraught over the death of a loved one in a traffic event. But Robin Clark is also understandably displeased with the inordinately lengthy time that a highway was closed to do an investigation.

    We have the same problem on O’ahu, when occasionally a major highway gets shut down for many, many hours to do an investigation of an accident. It’s a valid question why these investigations should be allowed to go on and on, causing hundreds or even thousands of people to be late for appointments with doctors, court hearings, or even merely meetings with friends.

    I think it’s a matter of accountability. I would like an investigative reporter to choose several of these prolonged road shut-downs and find out what information was gathered about the accident, and whether the information was ever actually used to make recommendations for road repairs or used in court to prove or disprove claims of negligence. Let’s demand that the people who order lengthy road shutdowns must provide the public with explanations of why they did that — not merely vague generic reasons but specific examples. Ka‘aona Kipuka wants respect for the victim and family. I want respect for the hundreds or thousands of people whose lives were disrupted for an investigation which might have been unnecessary or could have been done much more expeditiously. Let’s respect everyone.

    1. Jake February 16, 2019 12:12 pm Reply

      Well, I would agree with you. I really doubt there is any real reason for the prolonged road closures. Problem is that all the wasted man hours of those stuck in traffic is not accurately calculated. I’ll be it has something to do with liability IF the accident goes to court. Which is why I fully support cameras on all the roads, all public places, all streets, and of course, outside all public bathrooms on this island.

      Like you said….what is the return-on-investment? What is the information being used for?……….., or is it just more of the same; “Well, we’ve always done it this way”

  2. Robin Clark February 16, 2019 10:56 am Reply

    Read my letter again. I was asking questions that have not yet been answered. You are confusing evidence gathering with investigation. Why do the police have to shut down the highway to gather evidence for 5 hours? Are they bringing investigators from off island? As a scientific investigator for over 40 years, and as a former California grand jury member, multiple homicide division, I am aware of evidence procedures. I also pointed out that my wife was only one of probably several thousand who were significantly inconvenienced when ingress and egress to and from the west side was shutdown.

  3. numilalocal February 16, 2019 11:02 am Reply

    Ms Clark’s comments are again reflective of how some people feel their time is just so much more important than others’ lives.

    1. Ken Conklin February 16, 2019 1:47 pm Reply

      No numi. The loss of life was not intentional, and no amount of investigating will ever restore that life. But the road shutdown was intentional and probably 5 hours was not necessary to do the investigation. I think it’s very reasonable to complain about that and to demand an explanation from the investigators about what they found out and why it took them so long to do their job. I’m sure we have all observed government bureaucrats who think they can do whatever they want and who are so arrogant they simply ignore anyone who tries to hold them accountable.

  4. Kauaidoug February 17, 2019 7:48 am Reply

    Perhaps this is an issue a community paper could investigate. I’m sure all who are effected by these lengthy closures would like to Know.

  5. Koconut_wireless February 17, 2019 9:57 am Reply

    Mr. Scientific Investigator – Grand Jury Member,
    You moved here from California? Compare the population. Compare the number of Police officers from the district you lived in. When KPD is fully staffed WHICH IT IS NOT and most likely will not be anytime soon. There should be 120 something sworn officers for this entire island. At any given time there is hopefully 10 patrol officers and 3 Sergeants covering 460 square miles. There are 4 Traffic Safety Officers (not always on duty at the time of incident). There is basically one main highway throughout both the Southside, the East and Northside of the island. Who knows where those 4 specially trained officers are responding from. So yes, it is going to take some time, yes they are going to shut the highway down. No, they don’t fly investigators in from other islands.
    So this experience of yours on the grand jury was what 4 months? Homicide you said? Fancy. Grand Jury is a preliminary hearing. You don’t get to see, talk to, comfort, try to explain what happened, watch families and loved ones heart break as they go through each step of the court proceedings over and over again. Then watch their faces as the Judge renders the decision less than what you hoped for after that mere 5 hours of work that rainy (or whatever) day the highway was shut-down processing the scene HOPING PRAYING you got it all right, (you know for the ones left behind dealing with the loss). Then comes you, worried about being held up in traffic one day (So sorry Mr big Scientific know it all investigator). Well your wife came home that day didn’t she?. Bet you guys recently celebrated Valentines too? Well guess who didn’t, someones husband, Daddy, Uncle, Brother, etc? You’d think with even your little bit of grand jury experience you’d see the darkness of death and just how many it causes to suffer. Oh and by the way it takes even longer to work a homicide scene so be glad you haven’t had wait to drive through one of those. I could just imagine your displeasure then…
    It’s your self centered lack of caring for others is why so many locals dislike transplants like you. NO ALOHA.

  6. Kawika February 17, 2019 10:46 am Reply

    I was not aware that jury duty made a person an expert in evidence procedures and investigations. Nonetheless, closing down the accident scene for 5 hours does not only include the time needed to conduct an investigation and/or gather evidence. It also includes the time it takes for the investigators to respond and arrive on scene, the tow trucks to arrive and load everything up and make sure everything is secured if there is to be further inspection, etc. Then the time spent to clean up glass, debris, chemicals from the road. Someone has died or is seriously injured. This is not the time to “rush” things. We can all agree that sitting in traffic in these situations can make us late for whatever plans or jobs we are trying to get to. For me, I prefer to use the time to be patient and pray for the people involved in the accident and their loved ones. It could have been your wife.

  7. Steve February 17, 2019 12:34 pm Reply

    When will our elected officials say enough is enough? Let’s look at the broader problem of the safety of Kauai’s roads. With the island now at 65k residents and more cars per capita than ever, we’re putting all our lives and our children’s lives at (fatal) risk with the same antiquated roads. If there were ‘t enough other reasons (like huge unscheduled delays, inefficiency, pollution, wasted time/resources, emergency vehicular access…) for an extra lane each way around the island, than the killing of so many individuals this year alone would be enough. Time to stop pointing at excuses. Time to quit with the silly bandaids (buses) and shoot-yourself-in-the-foot solutions like limiting rental cars. The need for a two lane system, with safely divided 2-lane highways between towns is the only real solution—and this has been obvious for at least the last thirty years.

  8. Dt February 17, 2019 5:32 pm Reply

    I bet with new technology, these accidents investigations could be cut down significantly. The fact is that like any govt job, there are 5 loitering paid people for every 1 guy working. The police are the ones who don’t care about anyone else.

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