Attorney: Growing Social Irresponsibility Led To Hit-And-Runs

Published On: Nov 21 2011 05:49:53 AM HST   Updated On: Nov 22 2011 07:03:40 AM HST

Police said four drivers left the scene after hitting two pedestrians and a moped driver in three separate crashes Sunday night.

Honolulu police are looking for the driver of a small, white vehicle who failed to stop after hitting and killing 19-year old Mariah Danforth-Moore, a Hawaii Pacific University student who was studying psychology.

"We have witnesses that were there right after the fact and saw the vehicle leaving. We expect it to have front end damage," said Maj. Kurt Kendor of the Honolulu Police Department. "No indication that he even stopped, the driver even stopped or slowed down."

Minutes earlier, police said two drivers hit a pedestrian crossing against the light at Kapiolani Boulevard and Kamakee Street.

Police said one driver later returned to the scene after a witness convinced him to do so.

Police are still searching for the second driver of a large, black sports utility vehicle.

At 6:00 p.m. Sunday, police said the driver of a four-door silver Toyota hit a 55-year-old man on a moped at the intersection of Sheridan and Rycroft Streets.

The driver also left the scene.

"It is just unbelievable to me that this would happen with this frequency," said attorney Rick Fried, who has handled hundreds of personal injury cases.

Fried said he's seen a deterioration of social responsibility over the years, partly because some people don't believe there will be consequences.

"So often, everyone has an excuse. You see, nothing is ever my fault anymore. It was a bug flew in, or the sun got in my eye," Fried said.

The longtime Oahu attorney also believes social distance may be a factor.

"And I think one can argue that when you're in a vehicle, you feel distance from the person that you're involved with," Fried said.

"But just think if it happened to your wife, your child, your parent? How would you feel? So here we have four people that just didn't think it through," Fried said.

Police records show a 48-year-old Palolo man was arrested in connection with the Kapiolani hit-and-run.

Fried said anyone convicted in these types of cases faces five to ten years in prison depending on the severity of injuries to the victim.

Police are asking witnesses to any of the hit-and-run cases to call HPD?s traffic division.


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