UDPATE: Vehicle Plunges 200 feet off Kahekili Hwy, Wailuku Man Dies
Recovery crews retrieved the body of a man found deceased after responding to a report of a vehicle at the bottom of a 200 foot ravine, fire officials said.
The incident was reported at 7:44 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016 in the Kahakuloa area of the Kahekili Highway.
Police say the driver of the vehicle was ejected and sustained fatal injuries. He has since been identified, following the notification of next of kin, as Derrick L. Lamb, 26, of Wailuku.
The front seat passenger, a 21-year-old Kahului man, sustained minor injuries and was able to climb back up to the roadway, according to Maui police.
Fire officials say a company that manages the GPS tracking of the vehicle, called the incident in to emergency dispatchers.
Maui police and fire crews from Wailuku and Kahului responded to the scene using GPS coordinates obtained from the vehicle’s onboard location tracker.
Fire officials say the department’s Air 1 helicopter was also dispatched to search the thick vegetation near where the vehicle was believed to have gone off the roadway and over the side of a cliff.
A Kahului rescue crew aboard Air 1 located the vehicle in the ravine, just north of the entrance to Kaukini Loop in Kahakuloa, said Maui Fire Services Chief Edward Taomoto.
According to department reports, one adult male was found deceased at the scene. Fire officials say the victim’s body was recovered and transferred to a landing zone in a pasture nearby.
Police have since determined that the incident occurred in the early morning hours of Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016 as a white 2015 Nissan NV200 van, traveling north on Kahekili Highway, failed to negotiate a left bend in the roadway, driving over the makai side embankment and down a 200-foot cliff.
Police say the involvement of speed, drugs, and alcohol are still pending as the investigation is ongoing.
This was Maui County’s second traffic fatality in 2016 as compared to no fatalities at the same time last year.