City responds to pedestrian death with city garbage truck involved

Owens: "Our hearts go out to the family of the lady"

Published  5:14 PM HST Feb 01, 2013
WAIMALU, Hawaii -

A pair of mangled glasses mark the spot where an 83-year-old woman was hit by a city garbage truck Friday in Waimalu.

"The truck, after picking up one of the recyclables, was backing up and the female may have been walking behind the truck and was struck and then run over," said Lt. Bobby Towne of the Honolulu Police Department.

The tragedy happened between at a Newtown neighborhood on the corner of Kupukupu and Kupuwao Place.

Neighbors identify the victim as Pauline Ando.  They say she lives alone in a nearby home and goes for a walk every morning.

"It was a very unfortunate incident on both sides -- for the city side and the loss of life today.  Our hearts go out to the family of the lady," said Markus Owens, Department of Environmental Services public information officer.

Owens says the truck driver has 22 years of experience with the city.

He's not under arrest, but will go to the police station for a blood test, which is standard procedure.

Owens tells us the driver is shaken up and will be on leave and getting counseling during the investigation.

Owens says it appears the driver followed all safety protocols and the safety features on the truck were working fine, too.

The truck makes a noise when it backs up and it has a camera so the driver can look and see what's in the back of the truck when the mirrors can't see, according to Owens.

A city spokesperson says despite the safety measures put in place, the driver simply didn't see the woman while he was backing up.

In addition to the city's report, Honolulu police are opening a negligent homicide investigation.

Special traffic investigators were on the scene taking photos and conducting its own inspection of the truck.

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