Critical crash on Likelike Highway being investigated

Local News

Honolulu police are continuing to investigate a crash that critically injured a man on the Kahekili Highway off-ramp Wednesday afternoon.   

One of the drivers hit in crash said it happened so fast.

She said the truck was flying–it looked out of control–before it plowed into her car and nine others waiting at the Kahekili off-ramp stoplight.

Police said the driver of the tow-truck reported that her brakes began to fail before she smashed into the other cars.

The Hawaii Department of Transportation spokesperson said that the crash is being investigated by the federal government because it involves a commercial vehicle.

Concerned viewers reached out to KHON asking whether the runaway truck ramp was closed.

The runaway truck ramp is situated on Likellike Highway right before the Kahekili off ramp. It’s on a downhill area where larger trucks should be testing their brakes. There is even a runaway truck ramp sign a half a mile before the ramp to let commercial vehicle drivers know it is there. 

A DOT spokesperson said even though the runaway ramp has construction barriers in front of it,  it is open and can be used in an emergency.  They added that sand barrels will be installed until the cables that are intended to slow runaway vehicles down in the case of the emergency can be replaced.

No confirmation as to when exactly the driver realized her brakes were failing and if she could have used the  runaway ramp to avoid the crash. 

Jim Braddock remains in critical condition after his van was one of the vehicles struck by the tow-truck Wednesday.

His friends and family released a statement saying: “Please keep Jim in your thoughts and prayers. He has a long road a head of him and can use all the positive support the community can muster. We want to thank everyone for their  well wishes.” Braddock is 31-years-old.

A 58-year-old female driver also remained in serious condition. Several other drivers who were taken to the hospital were released in good condition.

KHON reached out to Pinky Toes Towing to ask if the tow-truck that was involved in the crash was up to-date on the necessary safety inspections. 

They were not available for comment.

Commercial vehicles are required to pass much more detailed inspections including particular attention to vehicle braking systems.

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