A fatal crash shut down Maui’s Honoapiilani Highway for several hours today.
A 69-year-old Lahaina man was killed in the crash.
Police say around 9:15 a.m., a white Mercedes Benz cargo van was traveling towards Lahaina on Honoapiilani highway when it crossed the center line and crashed head-on with a 1987 Nissan pickup truck.
KHON2 spoke to a witness who was in the car in front of the pickup truck.
“I don’t know what happened but he didn’t pull back into his lane and he ended up hitting the man behind us,” the witness said still shaken from what she had seen.
MPD identified the victim as 69-year-old Jimmy Alvarez Barbosa of Lahaina.
“A lot of people tried to help and we just couldn’t help him,” the witness said.
Police say the driver of the van is a 20-year-old male from Kahului, who was taken to the Maui Memorial Medical Center in stable condition.
Alvarez Barbosa was pronounced dead at the scene.
The crash happened at a spot referred to as “Cut Mountain” which is just before the bypass near Olowalu.
The crash shut down the highway for about three and a half hours.
State representative Angus McKelvey says he’s been pushing the county to fix nearby roads and believes there should be an alternative route in and out of Lahaina if other disasters should happen.
“We need to continue to push the bypass south and also really work with the county on trying to identify and improve some of these cane haul road segments,” he said.
Drivers were rerouted to a road behind the Olowalu dump this afternoon.
“There’s a cane haul road segment near where the accident happened but if improved it could have been used to get traffic around,” he said.
The road reopened just after 12:30 p.m.
The involvement of speed, drugs, and alcohol are still pending investigation.
This is Maui County’s ninth traffic fatality for 2019 as compared to three at this time last year.