Teen Dies After Car Drops 300-Feet off Hāna Highway
By Wendy Osher
(Update: 11:37 a.m., 9:39 a.m 4/24/14)
A 17-year-old Hāna boy suffered fatal injuries in an overnight crash on the Hāna Highway after the vehicle he was driving went off the road, continued approximately 300-feet down a cliff, and landed on lava rocks on the shore where it burst into flames, officials said.
The incident was reported at 12:29 a.m. on Thursday, April 24, 2014, on the Hāna side of Honomanū Bay, between mile 15 and 16 of the highway, and about 1.6 miles north of Lower Keʻanae Road.
Maui Fire Services Chief Lee Mainaga said two teens were in the vehicle at the time. According to Mainaga, the male seated in the passenger side was ejected from the vehicle during the incident.
Police say the 18-year-old passenger from Hāna, managed to climb up the cliff and call for help. He sustained minor injuries and was treated at the scene, according to police reports.
Fire personnel from Hāna and Rescue personnel from Kahului responded to the incident, with crews rappelling about 300-feet down the cliff to the vehicle, where they confirmed there was a deceased male.
According to department reports, the body recovery was conducted at first light, with the victim being airlifted by the department’s Air-1 helicopter to a landing zone at the Keʻanae Ball Park at around 6:30 a.m.
Maui police say both occupants were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash.
Maui Police Traffic Commander, Lieutenant Ricky Uedoi filed a crash synopsis saying the involvement of speed, drugs and alcohol has not been determined, as the investigation is ongoing.
This was the 10th traffic fatality on Maui County roads so far this year, compared to four at the same time last year.
(Update: 6:36 a.m. 4/24/14) The Hāna Hwy in East Maui is now OPEN in both directions. It was closed earlier in the area west of Keʻanae due to a motor vehicle accident reported early this morning.
(Original post: 4 a.m. 4/24/14) Hāna Hwy (360) is closed between mile 14 and 15, west of Keʻanae due to a motor vehicle accident. Maui police say the highway is closed until further notice.