Suicide threat
halts H-1 traffic

Vehicles going in both directions
had to stop while police talked
a man off an overpass

Traffic on the H-1 freeway near Pearl City was backed up for hours yesterday afternoon when a 25-year-old Waipahu man threatened to jump from the Kaonohi overpass.

Police closed the freeway in both directions for nearly two hours as they negotiated with the man, who surrendered to police at about 2:30 p.m. He was arrested for disorderly conduct and taken to the Castle Medical Center.

Police received the initial call at about 12:50 p.m. and closed both lanes of the freeway by 1:15 p.m.

"It was a nightmare," said University of Hawaii at Manoa freshman Danielle Bass, who spent more than an hour in traffic because of the closure. Her afternoon drive to Mililani usually takes about 25 minutes.

Police said the man was facing toward Koko Head and at one point had climbed onto the railing of the overpass.

The freeway was reopened by 2:50 p.m.

Mililani High School student Nathan Shimabuku was returning home from Honolulu, where he had picked up some friends, when he hit the traffic on H-1.

"It wasn't moving for a long time," he said, adding that the commute took him almost two hours.

Once the freeway was reopened, traffic remained bumper-to-bumper into the evening.

"It was pretty bad," Bass said. "It was slow going, but it was moving."

During the closure, eastbound traffic was diverted at the Pearl City offramp, while westbound traffic was diverted at the Aiea offramp.


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