Windward wreck shuts
highway for 2 1/2 hours

A 50-year-old tractor-trailer driver working on the state project at Castle Junction was taken to Castle Medical Center in critical condition after suffering an apparent heart attack and causing an accident with three other vehicles in Kailua.

The multiple-vehicle collision occurred about 10:05 a.m. in the town-bound lanes of Kalanianaole Highway near Kapaa Quarry Road. Police closed the lanes for 2 1/2 hours. Lanes were reopened at 12:30 p.m.

The tractor-trailer driver for Pineridge Trucking, subcontractor of Goodfellow Brothers Inc., dumped a load of dirt on Kaneohe Ranch land in Maunawili and was on his way back to the Castle Junction site, where the state is reducing the size of the hill. The truck veered to the right side of the highway, according to witnesses.

Kailua resident Paul Sakuma, 21, who was behind the tractor-trailer, said he pulled over to the left side of the highway. He said he watched the tractor-trailer swerve to the middle of the highway and stop. Sakuma, who was on his way to work at the University of Hawaii, said the tractor-trailer then rolled back and struck the right side of his black 1997 Honda Civic.

Police said the tractor-trailer also struck a 1990 Toyota Corolla driven by an 85-year-old Kailua man and a large passenger van carrying two senior passengers of the Pohai Nani Retirement Community driven by a 46-year-old Waipahu woman.

Sakuma said the tractor-trailer driver was slumped over when the accident occurred.

No other injuries were reported, police said.


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