Teen’s Crime Spree Ends With Hana Hwy Closure, Power Outage
By David Kvasnicka
A runaway bus that crashed and shut down the Hana Highway along with electrical power for hours on Friday, July 11 was the result of a teenager’s drunken crime spree.
A witness reported a yellow bus driving recklessly on Hana Highway heading north in the area of Baldwin Beach Park at around 11:32 p.m., Maui police said. A police officer located the bus and attempted to conduct a traffic stop, when the teenager driving the bus fled. The officer pursued but terminated the pursuit after the teenager accelerated at a high rate of speed.
The bus lost control and struck a utility pole near Kaiholo Place, and the teenager then fled on foot, according to a police report. Eyewitnesses called police after seeing the suspect. The teenager was apprehended and taken into custody.
The accident closed Hana Highway for hours due to the downed utility pole and power lines blocking both lanes of traffic. Traffic was contraflowed the next day and only fully restored at around 5:15 p.m.
Towns that experienced the power outage included Makawao, Haiku, Peahi, Huelo, Kailua, Keanae, Nahiku, and Hana. Power to those areas was restored at around 1 p.m. on July 12. Residents reported outages as far as Waiehu and Lahaina but it is unclear if those were connected with the bus crash.
Officers confirmed the bus was stolen after an investigation.
Maui police said Otto W. K. Jr. Wolfgramm, 19, of Hana, was charged with unauthorized control of a propelled motor vehicle, operating under the influence (liquor), prohibitions involving minors, reckless driving, inattention to driving, accidents involving damages, and commercial driver license required.
Bail was set at $3,000. Wolfgramm was released after posting bail on July 12.