JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARBULLETIN.COM
Emergency crews worked at the scene of a fatal collision on Kapaa Quarry Road in Kailua yesterday afternoon after an SUV and a tanker truck collided near the radio-controlled airplane park. The SUV driver died, and a dog riding in his vehicle was injured. It was the third fatality on the road this year.
Crash kills driver, 64, on Kapaa Quarry Road
The Kailua board just requested changes to the road after two girls died in a collision
A 64-year-old Kailua man died yesterday when his sport utility vehicle crossed the center line on Kapaa Quarry Road and crashed head-on into an asphalt tanker truck, the third death this year on what residents say is a dangerous stretch of road.
The gray SUV headed toward Mokapu Saddle Road smashed into the Kalanianaole Highway-bound tanker truck at about 2 p.m., said Lt. Darren Izumo of the Honolulu Police Department. The SUV driver died at the scene.
The 40-year-old driver of the Grace Pacific tanker truck refused treatment, police said.
Police closed Kapaa Quarry Road in both directions north of the Kailua Waste Facility after the accident.
The only passenger in the SUV was a golden retriever, about 6 months old, police said. The Hawaiian Humane Society recovered the injured dog.
"He's up and moving around, just a little shaky and stuff," said Linda Haller, director of operations for the Humane Society. Shelter workers were trying to get in touch with the owner's family yesterday.
The SUV came to a stop on the side of the road with a rear tire in the air, while the truck sat on the opposite side.
Police said speed and alcohol were not factors in the crash.
Yesterday's death was the 27th traffic fatality this year on Oahu, compared with 28 at the same time last year, police said.
Several fatal crashes have occurred on the same road, which has a 25 mph speed limit.
On Feb. 15, Kamehameha Schools graduates Whitney Fergerstrom and Leshay Gusman, both 18, died in a head-on collision with a pickup truck. Five other people were injured, including a woman, 19, who was taken to the hospital in critical condition.
Police said speed was a factor in that crash, which happened at a blind dip in the road. Yesterday's accident occurred past the dip on a flat stretch of road.
Other victims of crashes involving speeding on the road include:
» a girl, 16, who died after her speeding car crashed in 1998;
» three people who were hospitalized when a speeding SUV overturned in 2000;
» a boy, 17, who was critically injured after a speeding accident in 2001.
The Kailua Neighborhood Board sent a letter to the city last month asking for immediate changes to Kapaa Quarry to prevent further accidents, said Faith Evans, chairwoman of the board's transportation and public safety committee. The board asked for strict enforcement of the speed limit, low-density lights, cutting back the steep grade and closing the road from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. every night.
"We don't have anything in writing yet in response to the letter," she said. "I'm hoping that they're taking it under serious advisement to do something about it."
Big rigs and cars often speed on the road, and stricter speed enforcement could have helped, Evans said.