By Wendy Osher
(Update: 3:51 a.m., 1:38 a.m. 3/19/12)
The names of those who suffered fatal injuries in a Sunday afternoon motorcycle accident on Maui have been released.
Maui police say Abel Ventura Jr., 58, and Marlene Debnam, 56, both of Maui, died at the scene.
The accident occurred at 5:13 p.m. about 600 feet south of the Honoapiilani/North Kihei Road intersection.
Both Ventura and Debnam were part of a pack of over 50 motorcycles that were riding together as part of an organized St. Patrick’s motorcycle rally.
Ventura, who was operating a red 1988 Harley Davidson motorcycle, was traveling south towards Kihei on North Kihei Road, when he crossed the double solid yellow lines and collided into a grey 1988 Toyota pickup that was traveling in the opposite direction toward the Honoapiilani Highway, according to police reports.
Police say Ventura then continued south within the northbound lane and collided with another pickup truck, a red 2007 Toyota Tacoma, that was traveling north.
As a result of being struck by Ventura’s motorcycle, the first pickup, the 1988 Toyota, veered to the left and ended up in the path of other southbound vehicles, according to police reports.
Police say the driver traveled into the southbound lane of North Kihei Road where a 46-year-old man operating a maroon 2010 Harley Davidson motorcycle braked and skidded onto its left side. The motorcyclist suffered lacerations to his left elbow and calf, and was transported to the Maui Memorial Medical Center Emergency Room where he was treated and released for his injuries. The motorcycle was then struck from behind by a fifth vehicle, a black 1975 Harley Davidson motorcycle, which was also traveling south.
The first pickup was then struck by three additional motorcycles: a black 1988 Harley Davidson motorcycle, a black 1998 Harley Davidson motorcycle, and a black 2004 Yamaha motorcycle driven by Debnam.
The operator of the black 1988 Harley Davidson, a 56-year-old female, suffered a fractured left arm and injuries to her left knee. She was also transported to the Maui Memorial Medical Center Emergency Room for treatment.
The operator of the black 1998 Harley Davidson, a 49-year-old man, suffered exhaust burns to the side of his right shin area. Authorities say he was treated and released by medical personnel at the scene.
There were no other injuries reported by anyone involved. All the vehicles involved only had operators, and both pickup truck drivers were using their seat belts. None of the motorcycles involved in the accident were wearing helmets, according to police.
The involvement of speed, alcohol and drugs remain under investigation at this time.
This was Maui County’s fourth and fifth fatality compared to two at the same time last year.
(Update: 9:53 p.m. 3/18/12) North Kihei Road is now open in both directions. It was closed from 5:23 p.m. to 9:53 p.m. while police investigated a double fatality. The names of the deceased have not yet been released, and are pending notification of next of kin.
(Update: 7:28 p.m. 3/18/12) Maui police say the two people who died in today’s accident on North Kihei Road are believed to both be motorcyclists.
The motorcyclists had just made a right hand turn onto North Kihei Road from the Honoapiilani Highway when the accident occurred, according to Maui Police Lt. Wayne Ibarra.
Sources say they were struck by a truck that had crossed the center line, headed in the opposite direction (the truck was headed north on North Kihei Road).
The accident occurred just before 5:15 p.m., and the road has been closed since 5:23 p.m.
In addition to the fatalities, two other individuals were transported to the hospital–one in critical and one in stable condition, according to medics.
(Posted: 5:49 p.m. 3/18/12)
Two motorists on Maui suffered fatal injuries in an afternoon accident north of the Maalaea Power Plant, according to authorities.
Maui police closed North Kihei Road at 5:23 p.m. on Sunday, March 18, 2012, and dispatched investigators to the scene. North Kihei Road remained closed at last report between South Kihei Road and the Honoapiilani Highway.
Aside from the fatalities, medics transported two other individuals to the hospital–one in critical, and one in stable condition.
According to our sources, a truck crossed the center line and hit a group of motorcyclists.
Rescue and emergency responders remain on scene.