Maui Police and Fire investigators have released few new details about this morning’s tragic fatal crash near Keanae in East Maui – except the fact the both young men were not wearing seatbelts – a fact that, sadly, led to the death of the driver, but may have saved the life of his passenger.
At 12:29 a.m. today, Fire fighters from Hana and Rescue personnel from Kahului responded to the area halfway between mile marker 15 and 16 on Hana Highway (Hana side of Honomanu Bay) for a vehicle that went off the road and down a cliff. Two 17 year-old males were in the vehicle at the time. The male seated on the passenger side was ejected prior to the vehicle going down the cliff. He did not require any type of medical treatment.
Conflicting reports say one of the young men may have been 18. Both reports confirm the vehicle was a 1998 Toyota RAV-4 pulling a trailer. The SUV apparently veered off the road and struck a guardrail.
Fire personnel rescue crews rapelled down the cliff about 300 feet to the vehicle and confirmed that the male was deceased. It was determined to conduct the body recovery at first light. Fire and Rescue crews remained on scene and at 6:30 a.m. today, upon Air-1’s arrival, began recovery operations.
The victim was airlifted to a landing zone at the Keanae Ball Park. His identity has not been yet been released.