Head-On Honoapi‘ilani Crash Claims Life of Kahului Man
A 66-year-old Kahului man suffered fatal injuries in a head-on traffic accident on the Honoapiʻilani Highway on Monday afternoon.
The man, who was a rear seat passenger in a gray 2011 Scion, has since been identified by police as Manuel R. Rivera.
Police say the accident occurred at approximately 2:58 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 6, 2017, on the Honoapiʻilani Highway (30) near mile-marker 8 in Māʻalaea.
According to police reports, the collision occurred as a white 2006 Toyota Tacoma pickup truck traveling north-bound on Honoapiʻilani Highway, “veered off the roadway onto the mauka side shoulder and collided into the guardrail.” The Toyota pickup truck then returned to the roadway, crossed left of center, colliding head-on into a gray 2011 Scion XB multi-purpose vehicle traveling south-bound on Honoapiʻilani Highway. The Toyota pickup then “launched over the makai side guardrail and plummeted approximately 60 feet” down the side of a cliff, police said
Three people were transported to the Maui Memorial Medical Center including: a 34-year-old Lahaina man operating the Toyota pickup (transported in critical condition); a 39-year-old Kahului woman operating the Scion (transported in fair condition); and Rivera, the 66-year-old Kahului man (transported in critical condition and later died) who was a rear passenger of the Scion.
Police say Rivera and the driver of the pickup were not wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash. The woman driving the Scion was wearing a seatbelt according to police reports.
Maui Police Lieutenant Gregg Okamoto tells Maui Now that the pickup truck involved in the Honoapiʻilani crash did match the description of one that was involved in a hit-and-run earlier in Wailuku, “however, the two incidents are unrelated.” Lt. Okamoto said both investigations are on-going. According to Lt. Okamoto, police were not involved in any pursuit of the truck.
The roadway was closed for about two and a half hours while police conducted an investigation. Contraflow traffic was initiated at around 4:48 p.m., and the road was completely reopened at around 5:35 p.m.
Police say the involvement of speed, drugs and alcohol are still pending as the investigation is ongoing.
This was Maui County’s 16th traffic fatality for 2017, and is the second fatality in as many days on Maui. The other involved a Kīhei woman who suffered fatal injuries in a single vehicle collision on Wailea Alanui Drive on Sunday evening.