Sponsored by:

Comment, blog & share photos

Log in | Become a member
The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Monday, June 18, 2001

H-1 fatal crash, Kalihi water main break halt commute

By Mike Gordon and Shayna Coleon
Advertiser Staff Writers

Police direct 'ewa-bound traffic onto the Wilder Street off-ramp while they investigate a fatal one-car accident.

Richard Ambo • The The Honolulu Advertiser

The back-to-work commute was tougher than usual today as drivers hit the brakes at opposite ends of Honolulu.

In Mo'ili'ili, a one-car accident reported at 5:14 a.m. on the H-1 Freeway killed one woman and forced police to close the freeway for nearly three hours. Traffic was backed up to Kahala, and Beretania Street and Kapi'olani Boulevard quickly filled up as well.

In Kalihi, commuters were stalled by a 12-inch water main that ruptured at 4:45 a.m. on Kalihi Street. The break left 30 homes without water.

On the freeway a woman driving alone in the 'ewa direction in a 1986 Toyota Tercel struck a guardrail before the Alex ander Street on-ramp, said Honolulu police Sgt. W. Kelley. Her car bounced off before stopping in the middle and right hand lanes.

The 49-year-old resident of Keoniana Street in Waikiki suffered severe head injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene, Kelley said.

She was not wearing a seatbelt. Her identity is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

Board of Water Supply workers reset traffic cones as they repair a water main break on Kalihi Street. Traffic was rerouted to the Likelike Highway.

Richard Ambo • The Honolulu Advertiser

Traffic investigators kept all 'ewa-bound lanes closed until about 8 a.m. Commuters were diverted at the Kapi'olani Boulevard off-ramp.

Beau Irvine, who was stuck in traffic at Beretania and McCully, couldn't believe it. "It was just terrible," he said of the traffic. "It was insane. I think people wanted to kill each other out there."

The water main broke in a transmission pipe between 'Elua and 'Akahi streets, said Hiram Respicio of the Board of Water Supply.

Police allowed only city buses onto Kalihi Street, and commuters were rerouted onto the Likelike Highway. Crews went to excavate at 7 a.m.

"During the height of the rush hour it was backed up pretty bad," said police Sgt. John McEntire. "Thankfully, school was not in session or it would have been a lot worse."