Two-truck crash partially closes highway 02-16-05

PHONE: 326-4646, EXT. 249
FEBRUARY 16, 2005


The driver of a county refuse semi-tractor trailer truck was injured in a two-truck collision Wednesday (February 16, 2005) on Queen Kaahumanu Highway (Route 19) just south of the 90-mile marker.

The driver of the county truck was taken to the Kona Community Hospital, where his condition was reported only as non-life threatening. The driver of the pickup truck was not injured.

Responding to a 2:13 p.m. call, Kona patrol officers determined that the county truck hauling an attached refuse container was traveling north on the highway when a passenger pickup truck traveling in the opposite direction made a U-turn in its path, apparently after a box fell out of the truck bed. As the driver of the county truck tried to avoid the pickup, the tractor-trailer sideswiped the pickup and then overturned, causing the truck and trailer to rest on their sides, blocking both lanes of the highway.

Kona patrol officers notified Civil Defense of the situation and deployed officers for traffic control, allowing traffic to flow intermittently in both directions by using one shoulder of the highway.

Officers were also posted at the intersection of Queen Kaahumanu and Kaiminani Drive and at Kaiminani Drive and Hawaii Belt Road in Kona and at the intersection of Queen Kaahumanu Highway and Waikoloa Road and at Waikoloa Road and Hawaii Belt Road (Route 190) in South Kohala to advise motorists to use the Route 190 until the highway could be cleared.

Because of the size of the refuse container, police had to call in two specialized boom trucks to clear the highway. Police estimated that the highway would remain partially closed at least until 6 p.m.

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