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Maunakea Information Update for January 2nd, 2022

One person was fatally injured, two children were critically injured and five others were seriously injured in a single-vehicle collision on Maunakea Access Road (Highway 210) Saturday afternoon (January 1st).

Published by: HIRSC - Hawai'i Island (Hōlualoa) and O'ahu (Waipi'o) Team

(Updated details from the Hawai'i Fire Department)

The Hawai'i Fire Department (HFD) along with U.S. Army Garrison Fire Department at Pōhakuloa Training Area (PTA Fire), American Medical Response (AMR), and the Hawai'i Police Department (HPD) responded to a report of a single-vehicle collision on Maunakea Access Road (Highway 210) in Maunakea, North Hilo Saturday afternoon (January 1st).

The initial call came in at 3:29 pm Saturday afternoon and HFD Crews from the Waimea, Central, Waiākea (Rescue Company 2), and Haihai Fire Stations along with PTA Fire, AMR-1, and HPD Officers from the South Hilo Patrol and Traffic Enforcement Unit (TEU) responded to the scene located approximately 1/2-mile below Halepōhaku Visitor Information Station on Maunakea Access Road in Maunakea, North Hilo.

Upon the arrival of emergency crews, reports came into emergency dispatch reporting a single vehicle (described as a mid-size 4-door pickup truck) traveling on Maunakea Access Road at an apparent high rate of speed, ran off the roadway down a steep ravine approximately 200-feet below the roadway at the 8,000-foot elevation on Maunakea. In the course of the collision, the pickup truck rolled over multiple times, ejecting several passengers aboard the vehicle at the time of the collision, a total of eight passengers (being described as male and female ranging from ages 5 to 40s), injuries being described as serious to life-threatening. Bystanders worked to provide aid to the patients until emergency crews arrived at the scene.

Once emergency crews arrived at the scene, PTA Fire personnel immediately worked to extricate patients and begin medical triage of all eight patients injured and prepare for transport by HFD Medics en route from multiple districts. HFD Medics transported two children (both male and female of the ages of 5 and 10) in critical condition, one patient was listed in extremely critical condition, to the Hilo Medical Center for further medical treatment. HFD Medics and AMR-1 transported six other patients (male and female with their ages ranging from 20s to 40s) also to the Hilo Medical Center, all listed in serious condition. No further updates were given on patients' conditions due to HIPAA Laws.

However, it was later learned that one child critically injured in the collision was pronounced dead at the Hilo Medical Center later Saturday afternoon.

Due to the patient's condition at the time of transport and fatality at the scene, HPD Officers closed Maunakea Access Road between Halepōhaku and Highway 200 (Daniel K. Inouye Highway/Saddle Road) while TEU Officers arrived at the scene to begin their investigation into the collision.

Maunakea Access Road was later reopened early Saturday evening.

HPD TEU continues to investigate the incident. It's unknown at this time where the passengers were seated or if they were seat-belted at the time of the collision.

The scene is a short distance away from a previous fatal collision that occurred in 2017, where an SUV had rolled over and fatally injured the sole operator of the vehicle.

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