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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, January 28, 2010

Maui records second traffic fatality of 2010, hours after first


By Lila Fujimoto
Maui News

KAHULUI Less than a day after a pedestrian died in a traffic collision Tuesday night on Piilani Highway in Kihei, police traffic investigators were called Wednesday to the scene of another fatal crash Upcountry.

The collision occurred at 11:54 a.m. on Haleakala Highway south of Kealaloa Avenue in Kula. Police said 22-year-old Kihei resident John M. Bolosan died after he lost control of the gray 1995 Dodge Neon he was driving downhill at a curve. The car slid sideways, crossing the centerline and colliding with a Ford Ranger truck that was heading uphill, police said.
A 61-year-old Kula man driving the truck declined treatment for minor injuries, police said.
Both drivers were alone in their vehicles.
With the passenger side of the car pushed into the driver's seat after hitting the front of the truck, Bolosan had to be extricated by fire rescue workers, police said. He was taken to Maui Memorial Medical Center, where he died of his injuries Wednesday afternoon.
The crash occurred on a wet roadway in foggy conditions that limited visibility on a day when other possibly weather-related crashes also were reported, said acting Lt. Barry Aoki, commander of the police Traffic Section.
"All of these crashes would have been avoidable if people were paying attention and just adjust their driving to the conditions," Aoki said. "People don't adjust their speed for the conditions weather conditions, roadway conditions, traffic. If it's raining and there's limited visibility, slow down."
Police said speed is being investigated as a possible factor in the Upcountry crash. A one-mile stretch of Haleakala Highway was closed mauka from Kealaloa Avenue until 3 p.m. while police investigated.
Traffic investigators responded to the Upcountry collision just hours after leaving the scene of the first fatal crash in Maui County this year.
In the collision reported at 9:09 p.m. Tuesday, 42-year-old Kihei resident Shannon L. Vannatta died when she was hit by a sport utility vehicle while she stood in the northbound roadway on Piilani Highway, police said.
Police said Vannatta was wearing black clothing. Her car was found parked nearby on the shoulder of the highway.
Police were continuing to investigate why Vannatta was on the roadway.
So far this year, the traffic death toll is the same as the two reported this time last year.