Car hits family of 4 at crosswalk

1 seriously injured; alcohol, speed not factor to crash, but driver issued traffic citations

Four members of a family were injured, one seriously, when a car rammed them as they were crossing a marked crosswalk along Beach Road, Chalan Kanoa on Saturday night.

A 24-year-old woman sustained serious injuries and was admitted to the intensive care unit at the Commonwealth Health Center, police said yesterday.

A 5-year-old boy suffered minor head injuries and was admitted for observation.

A 31-year-old man and a 2-year-old girl had minor injuries and were released after being treated.

All four victims are locals and residing in San Vicente.

Traffic investigator Norris Kwon determined that speed and alcohol were not a factor in the crash.

The driver, a 31-year-old local woman, of Koblerville, however, was found to have caused the accident and was issued citations for failing to yield the right of way to a pedestrian crossing the highway within a marked crosswalk and for violating a traffic code that states that whenever any vehicle has stopped to permit a pedestrian to cross the highway, the driver of any vehicle approaching from behind shall not overtake and pass the stopped vehicle.

The driver was also issued a citation for violating a traffic code that states that “every operator of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian or any person propelling a human-powered vehicle, shall give an audible signal when necessary, and shall exercise proper precaution upon observing any child or any obviously confused, incapacitated or intoxicated person.”

The driver’s silver 2004 Toyota Solara had damage to the front bumper cover and hood. The front windshield was shattered.

Department of Public Safety spokesman Jason Tarkong said yesterday that traffic officer Daniel Smith called DPS Central on Saturday at 7:21pm about an auto-pedestrian crash involving several victims and requested for extra units to direct traffic, medics, and traffic investigators to the scene.

The accident happened on the northbound lane of Beach Road in front of Hong Ye Hardware Store.

Tarkong said the weather condition was clear and the road surface was dry, but the lighting in the area was dark, with no streetlights.

Smith was traveling on Beach Road when he noticed traffic ahead, with several pedestrians lying on the northbound lane. Smith also saw a baby stroller on the southbound lane.

Traffic investigator Kwon learned that the family of four was crossing the highway on a marked pedestrian crosswalk from east to west when the two-door Toyota Solara sedan hit them on the northbound inner lane.

Tarkong said medics rushed all four pedestrians to the hospital, while police investigated the driver.

Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services spokesman Derek Gersonde said yesterday that two of the victims had severe injuries—one complaining of severe head pain and the other of abdominal pain.

Gersonde said the third patient was complaining of lower extremity pain due to a left leg deformity.

He said medics applied cervical collars and used backboards to maintain two of the three patients’ spines. They were then brought to CHC.

Gersonde did not mention the fourth victim in his report.

Last July 16 at nighttime, two women were injured, including one who suffered serious injuries, when a taxicab avoided some pedestrians crossing at a crosswalk near Eucon International University in Gualo Rai. The two victims were standing near the school’s gate. The driver’s four passengers were also hurt. The driver was arrested and charged in court.

Last April 18 in the afternoon, a 17-year-old male was injured when a car struck him as he was crossing the crosswalk along Beach Road near the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium in Susupe. It was not clear whether the driver was charged in this case.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at

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