Man dies in Wailua crash

A 24-year-old Kapa‘a man was pronounced dead Wednesday night at Wilcox Memorial Hospital following a three-car accident in Wailua, according to a Kauai Police Department news release.

County officials reported yesterday that James Piekos of Wailua Homesteads was traveling east on Kuamo‘o Road alone in an older dark-colored El Camino shortly after 9 p.m.

He overtook a white Hyundai sedan at a blind corner, crossing double solid lines into the oncoming traffic lane.

His car then collided head on with a westbound blue Ford SUV about 100 yards west of the Opaeka‘a bridge, just before the road starts to go uphill, according to Kaua‘i Police Department Sgt. Keoka Ledesma, who described the El Camino as “crumpled” and “nearly destroyed.”

Piekos suffered undetermined internal injuries but was still alive when officers and paramedics arrived on the scene within minutes of a 911 call, Ledesma said.

The driver of the SUV sustained substantial but not life-threatening injuries, according to county spokesperson Mary Daubert. Ledesma said that he believed the injuries included a broken leg or foot.

Five SUV passengers sustained minor injuries, and two of the six occupants were admitted to Wilcox for treatment, Daubert said.

Ledesma said that the sedan sustained a shattered windshield, possibly caused by flying debris and not necessarily by impact with either the El Camino or SUV. Two occupants sustained minor injuries but were not transported to Wilcox, Daubert said.

Kuamo‘o Road was closed in both directions until 1:15 a.m. yesterday, Ledesma said, with officers turning travelers around as the vehicles were towed and the scene was cleared.

KPD’s Traffic Safety Unit will be conducting an extensive investigation into the incident.

The victim is Kaua‘i’s eighth traffic fatality in 2008, according to Perry’s statement.

• Michael Levine, staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 252) or via e-mail at mlevine@kauaipubco.com

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