One person seriously injured following a single-vehicle collision involving a utility pole on Kawaihae Road (Highway 19) in Kamuela late Tuesday evening (April 27th).
Published by: HIRSC - Hawaii Island (Holualoa and Kamuela) Team
The Hawaii Fire Department (HFD) along with the Hawaii Police Department (HPD) responded to a report of a single-vehicle collision on Kawaihae Road (Highway 19) in Kamuela late Tuesday evening (April 27th).
The initial call came in at 10:41 pm Tuesday evening and HFD Crews from the Waimea Fire Station along with HPD Officers from the South Kohala Patrol responded to the scene located near the 63-mile marker on Kawaihae Road.
Upon the arrival of emergency crews, numerous reports from nearby residents reported hearing a loud crash on Kawaihae Road near the 63-mile marker, and a motorist witnessed a vehicle (described as a Ford Expedition SUV) collide into a utility pole (described as a telecommunications pole and causing severe damage to the pole) along Kawaihae Road and land in a ditch following the collision, with the operator of the vehicle (described as a male in his 30s) still within the vehicle.
Utility lines from the pole were reported to be low hanging over one lane of Kawaihae Road and tension wire also low hanging and resting upon the vehicle involved. Bystanders awaited the arrival of emergency crews.
It was noted that the same vehicle involved was reported to HPD driving recklessly on Highway 19 (Māmalahoa Highway) in the Hāmākua district just a short time earlier prior to the collision being reported. HPD Officers from the Hāmākua Patrol conducted checks and were unable to locate that same vehicle prior to entering into South Kohala district.
Once emergency crews arrived at the scene, HFD Crews immediately worked to extricate the male operator and begin a medical assessment. The male operator was then transported to the North Hawaii Community Hospital with his condition listed as serious at the time of transport.
Due to the traffic hazard, HPD Officers closed the mauka (east/mountain) bound lane of Kawaihae Road and contra-flowed traffic using the makai (west/ocean) bound lane, while crews from Hawaiian Telcom and Spectrum arrived at the scene to begin repairs to the damaged pole and tension line damaged in the collision.
Kawaihae Road was fully reopened at 3:50 pm Wednesday afternoon.