Posted at 5:57 p.m., Friday, September 8, 2006
Steam engine on Maui collides with dump truck
Advertiser StaffLAHAINA, Maui A Lahaina Kaanapali & Pacific Railroad steam engine derailed yesterday after colliding with a loaded dump truck, causing minor injuries to a passenger.
Maui police said the collision happened at 4:05 p.m. on Kapunakea Street. The Honokahua Trucking vehicle had just turned right off Honoapi'ilani Highway. Driver Hardy Ah Puck, 38, of Lahaina, told police he thought he could make it across the train tracks in time, but his heavy load of dirt prevented him from clearing the tracks, and the slow-moving train was unable to stop before slamming into the truck.
The railroad crossing's signal lights were flashing and the narrow-gauge train was blowing its whistle horn to warn the truck of its approach, said Capt. Charles Hirata of the Maui Police Department.
The visitor-oriented train, known as the "Sugar Cane Train," carries passengers between the Ka'anapali resort and Lahaina.
There were 20 passengers on board at the time of the collision, said LK&P General Manager Barbara Allen. Passenger Katsuko Sasaki, 54, of Osaka, Japan, complained of back pains and was taken to Maui Memorial Medical Center.
Allen said the train travels at between 6 to 8 mph at crossings, and only 8 to 10 mph on the rest of its journey.
A crane was needed to remove the truck from on top of the engine, which is named Myrtle. The steam engine and its sister train, Anaka, date from the 1940s and were shipped to Hawai'i in the 1970s from Pennsylvania. Allen said the railroad was still assessing the damage and did not know when the Myrtle would return to service.