A visitor trying to cross Kuhio Highway in Waipouli suffered massive chest injuries and other trauma after being hit by a truck on Kuhio Highway Thursday night, and was pronounced dead at Wilcox Memorial Hospital later that evening, according to dispatches on the emergency radio scanner and information from county officials in a press release.
Yesterday, around 4 p.m., another person died in an accident on Kuhio Highway near Anahola that caused emergency officials to re-route traffic in both directions onto Ko’olau Road.
At presstime, there was no further information available about the Anahola mishap.
Both accidents are under investigation by Kaua’i Police Department Traffic Safety Unit officers.
Fredrika Weisenthal, 66, from Missouri, is the second person to die in a traffic accident on Kaua’i this year.
A pedestrian, she was attempting to cross Kuhio Highway north of the Papaloa Road intersection and the Coconut Marketplace in Waipouli, in a poorly lit area when she was struck by a pickup truck driven by Michael Groves, said Kaua’i Police Department Traffic Safety Unit Lt. Mark Scribner.
She was not in a cross-walk, he said.
The incident occurred around 7 p.m. on Thursday.
According to police, a motorist in the inner north-bound lane slowed down when he saw Weisenthal, while the truck in the outer northbound lane driven by Groves struck the pedestrian.
Police believe that alcohol may have been a factor in the crash, while speed is not considered a factor.
Groves, who was having difficulty breathing after the accident, was also transported to Wilcox aboard an American Medical Response ambulance.
An autopsy was scheduled yesterday on Weisenthal, to determine cause of death, but it could take weeks or months before police get the results, Scribner said.
An autopsy is required by law whenever there is a fatality involving a motor vehicle, he explained.
An investigation is continuing, and blood was drawn from both Weisenthal and Groves, to determine if alcohol was a factor in the accident, Scribner said.
Results of those tests will also take at least one week before they get to investigators, he added.
No arrests have been made, and no charges have been brought against Groves, said Scribner.
Once the investigation is completed, the results will be forwarded to lawyers in the county prosecuting attorney’s office for determination if charges should be brought, he explained.