Criminal intent suspected in Puhi highway incident

PUHI — Motorists passing the scene of an apparent one-car traffic mishap along Kaumuali’i Highway Tuesday afternoon probably concluded that the small truck lost control, careened through a fence, rolled down an embankment, and came to rest on the driver’s-side door in a portion of Kauai Nursery & Landscaping here.

However, there may be criminal intent involved in the incident, and charges may be filed against the driver or others involved in the mishap, according to Lt. Scott Yagihara of the KPD traffic safety unit.

The KPD officer said the incident is not being considered a traffic accident, and that the victim may have sustained additional injuries not necessarily associated with the action of the vehicle itself.

That could mean the driver may have been trying to run into another driver or a pedestrian, or may have been chased by a driver of another vehicle, or could have been assaulted or otherwise sustained injuries either at the incident scene or before arriving there, Yagihara said.

The name of the driver of the truck was not available yesterday.

Kaua’i Fire Department and American Medical Response rescue crews had to saw the roof open and pry the driver from the car. Fire department and AMR rescuers took precautions to prevent further injury while loading the victim into the ambulance, said Zack Octavio, AMR Kaua’i manager of operations and marketing.

The victim was admitted to Wilcox Memorial Hospital and word on his condition hasn’t been released. It is known he was admitted to the emergency room, X-rayed and examined by staff.

Staff Writer Paul C. Curtis can be reached at mailto:pcurtis@pulitzer.net or 245-3681 (ext. 224).

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