HONOLULU — A motorist was arrested after critically injuring a bicyclist, reviving residents’ concerns about street racing in Honolulu.
The victim of the Thursday evening crash was identified as Lectie Altman, a triathlete and Honolulu real estate agent, Hawaii News Now reported. The suspect was a 20-year-old man who arrested on one count of negligent injury but later released pending an investigation.
Witnesses said they heard revving engines and screeching tires before a car went off the road on one side, came across the other lane of traffic out of control and hit Altman head on.
The impact was so hard that Altman flew about 40 feet (12.2 meters), said bicyclist Lawrence Friedman, who was riding behind Altman at the time of the incident.
Friedman immediately rushed over to help Altman and she was still awake and conscious, he said.
“I was trying to comfort her and I could see at least her head wasn’t damaged,” Friedman said. “But she had some catastrophic injuries to her body.”
Tantalus Drive, where the incident took place, is well known for illegal racing and drifting.
Residents and bicycling advocates said it’s a major public safety issue, and they’re hoping police will step up patrols.
“We’re working with the police to ask them to have more enforcement so that people who don’t obey the law get ticketed, arrested, put in jail, whatever it is,” said Chad Taniguchi, executive director of the Hawaii Bicycling League.
But the Honolulu Police Department said it’s up to the officers who patrol that district.
“We’ve had a continuing problem with street racing, illegal street racing, for at least the last 15 years I’ve been doing enforcement at night. It’s something that hasn’t gone away despite our best enforcement efforts,” said Honolulu Police Lt. Ben Moszkowicz.