4 INJURED IN 2 LINKED ACCIDENTS
GEORGE F. LEE / GLEE@STARBULLETIN.COM
Workers made some progress yesterday while trying to right an overturned truck that was involved in an accident on the H-1 freeway westbound near the Kunia Road interchange.
Crashes snarl commute
A tractor-trailer blocks all westbound lanes of the H-1, delaying drivers for hours
Two accidents on the H-1 freeway near the Kunia offramp -- one involving an overturned tractor-trailer -- injured four people and slowed rush-hour traffic to a crawl heading west yesterday.
A 46-year-old man lost control of the tractor-trailer he was driving and collided with a van in the westbound lanes of the freeway, said police Capt. Frank Fujii. He was taken to the Queen's Medical Center in serious condition, said Emergency Services Division spokesman Bryan Cheplic.
A sport utility vehicle trying to avoid the collision moved into the center lane and was rear-ended by another SUV, police said.
The 23-year-old pregnant driver of the first SUV was taken in serious but stable condition to Queen's, along with her 1 1/2-year-old son, who was not injured, Cheplic said. A 44-year-old man and 12-year-old girl in the vehicle were taken in stable condition to Kapiolani Medical Center at Pali Momi, Cheplic said.
The tractor-trailer blocked all Waianae-bound lanes on the H-1. Police shut down the freeway between the Waikele onramp and Kunia onramp after the 2:30 p.m. accident. The freeway was reopened about three hours later.
Two weeks ago a dump truck crash snarled rush-hour traffic on the eastbound H-1 freeway near the Kapiolani offramp.
Yesterday, vehicles inched along the H-1, Kamehameha and Farrington highways, Moanalua Road and surface streets.
One young woman got out of her Toyota 4-Runner at the Aiea Shopping Center. After admitting to being stuck in traffic, she told a reporter, "Don't bother me," and stomped toward Jamba Juice to cool off.
Others took it in stride.
"It happens," Ron Yamanuha said casually. He left work at Pearl Harbor and took 1 1/4 hours to pick up his wife in Aiea. Adele Yamanuha attested to his "calm, laid-back" personality.
Jaime Amorin said, "It's something you can't help -- having an accident. Just hope no one was hurt -- that's the main thing.
Village Park resident Vic Gautier had just flown in from the mainland, and his wife, Charlene, had met him at the airport at 4:15 p.m. After two hours on the road, they stopped at Aiea Shopping Center.
"I had to go shishi, so this is a pit stop," Charlene Gautier said.
Some tried to avoid the standstill on the H-1. "I tried to go on the back roads by Pearlridge," said Walden Cristobal, who had taken Moanalua Road.
Cristobal was heading from the Windward side via the H-3 freeway to his son's football practice in Waipio but saw the cars stopped on the H-1.
He gave up after sitting in traffic for 45 minutes, and decided to stop and shop in Aiea at 6 p.m. He knew he had missed the practice, which began at 5. "I probably would have still not gotten there," he said.
Medardo Padasdao, who left his job in Manoa, said it was "terrible. I wish I listened to the radio before I left town."
He left Manoa at 3:30 p.m. and stopped in Aiea at 5:45 p.m. for a mocha frost. "I couldn't get off the freeway," he said.