A damaged utility pole and downed lines lead to the closure of Highway 11 (Mamalahoa Highway) in Kealia, South Kona Friday evening (February 26th).
Published by: HIRSC - Hawaii Island (Holualoa) Team
The Hawaii Fire Department (HFD) along with the Hawaii Police Department (HPD) responded to a report of a single-vehicle collision on Highway 11 (Mamalahoa Highway) near the 103-mile marker in Kealia, South Kona Friday evening (February 26th).
The initial call came in at 7:17 pm and HFD Crews from the Captain Cook Fire Station along with American Medical Response (AMR 7), and HPD Officers from the Kona Patrol responded to the scene located at the 85-4500 block of Mamalahoa Highway (south of the 103-mile marker) in Kealia, South Kona.
Upon the arrival of emergency crews, reports came that a single-vehicle (described as a White Nissan sedan) had collided with a utility pole on Highway 11 in Kealia and severely damaging the utility pole and bringing down utility lines (included electrical, telecommunications, and internet service) in the course of the incident and blocking all lanes of Highway 11. The vehicle then proceeded down on Highway 11 and later found a short distance away with the operator (described as a male with age not disclosed) of the vehicle leaving the location of the vehicle.
Once emergency crews arrived at the scene, HFD and AMR personnel later located the male operator and conducted a quick medical assessment of the male operator, however, HPD Officers later took the male operator into custody and transported him to the Kealakehe Police Station for further processing and booking. It was later learned the male operator was taken into custody for suspicion of driving under the influence.
Due to the damaged utility pole and downed utility lines, HPD Officers closed all lanes of Highway 11 while Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO), Hawaiian Telcom, and Spectrum personnel worked to clear the damaged pole and also low-hanging utility lines at the scene. The collision also resulted in a widespread outage leaving approximately 469 customers in the Kealia to Miloli'i in South Kona without power and as of 11:45 pm Friday evening, still remain without power.
Numerous South Kona motorist was unable to get home due to the collision and many had sheltered in place on Highway 11 while waiting for the road to reopen, while some had turned around and returned towards Captain Cook and even Kailua-Kona to wait it out or stay with relatives or friends for the remainder of the evening.