Kahului Man Killed in Hit-And-Run Moped Accident, Arrest Made

June 18, 2018, 12:24 PM HST · Updated June 18, 12:50 PM
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A Kahului man suffered fatal injuries in a hit-and-run moped crash on Puʻunēnē Avenue near the intersection of Airport Access Road in Kahului early Saturday morning.

Maui police have since identified the moped operator as 36-year-old Joey Ruiz of Kahului, and say he died at the scene. His passenger, a 19-year-old female from Kahului was ejected from the moped during the crash and suffered serious injuries.

The incident was reported at around 4:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 16, 2018.

According to police reports, Ruiz and his female passenger were riding a moped northbound on Puʻunēnē Avenue near the intersection of Airport Access Road in Kahului when the moped was struck from behind by a silver 2006 Toyota sedan.

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Police say the female passenger was ejected while the Toyota sedan continued to push the moped and the male operator along Puʻunēnē Avenue.  The moped eventually came to rest north of Puʻukani Street.

Police say the driver of the Toyota sedan fled the scene before police arrived.  The Toyota sedan was later located by police parked unattended in front of a nearby residence in Kahului.

A 35-year old Kahului man, who is suspected of operating the Toyota sedan, was later arrested, according to police. The vehicle involved was also recovered as evidence.

The roadway was closed for about nine hours while police conducted an investigation. The involvement of speed, drugs, and alcohol are still pending as the investigation is ongoing.

This was Maui County’s fourth traffic fatality for 2018, compared to three the same time last year.​

Vehicle Strikes Utility Pole on Pūlehu Road 

In a separate incident over the weekend, Pūlehu Road in Kula was closed for about eight hours on Sunday, following a vehicle/pole accident.

According to police reports, a silver-colored Chevy pick-up truck was traveling down Pūlehu Road when it lost control and struck a utility pole in front of 593 Pūlehu Road.  The incident was reported at around 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 17, 2018.

Police say the Chevy pick-up fled before police arrived.

The road was closed while Maui Electric crews conducted pole replacement and repairs.

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