Lihu‘e collision involves 3 cars

One juvenile driver was taken to Wilcox Memorial Hospital yesterday afternoon following a minor three-car collision in Lihu‘e.

The juvenile male was making a left turn out of the No. 1 Chinese restaurant parking lot onto Kuhio Highway when his gray Ford Explorer sideswiped a white Nissan Quest minivan traveling southbound that was changing lanes at the time.

Anahola resident Darlene Pa, driver of the minivan, said that she “didn’t see it coming” but that her daughter, Iwalani Martin, had anticipated it and tensed up.

After striking the minivan, the Explorer ricocheted into oncoming traffic, striking a northbound white Honda Accord.

After a few seconds, the driver of the Explorer put the vehicle into reverse and pulled back sharply, seemingly preparing to flee the scene, before stopping.

Franklin Hiraoka Sr., of Hanama‘ulu was driving the sedan.

“I saw it happening in front of me, and I tried to slow down, but I couldn’t reverse,” said Hiraoka, who complained of a sore back. “I’m not going to feel this today, but I’ll feel it tomorrow.”

Pa, Martin and Hiraoka all immediately exited their vehicles and were all examined at the scene, refusing further treatment.

The juvenile remained in his vehicle for some five minutes before Kaua‘i Fire Department personnel helped him hobble to the side of the road as he clutched his injured left arm or hand.

A Kaua‘i Police Department officer on the scene said that the juvenile was “more scared than anything.”

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


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