Van knocks down landmark sign

PUHI — A woman on Friday morning crashed her van in Puhi, totaling her vehicle and damaging a Kilohana Plantation sign on Kaumuali‘i Highway.

As of 1:40 p.m., the wrecked Nissan Quest — surrounded by police tape — and the broken wooden sign remained on the side of the highway, near Nuhou Street.

Pepe Trask, general manager of the Kauai Plantation Railway, said a fellow employee of Kilohana heard from police dispatchers that the accident happened around 3:30 a.m., and that the driver, a woman, refused medical assistance.

The sign is a 25-year-old landmark, according to Trask. That’s the same age as Kilohana Plantation’s transformation as a tourist destination.

“The sign is completely destroyed and her car is probably likewise,” Trask said.

The plantation is located at 3-2087 Kaumuali‘i Highway.


The wrecked van was supposed be towed within 24 hours, according to a notice posted at 7:25 a.m. on the shattered, caved-in windshield. 

The van’s driver-side air bag had been deployed, and wizard-themed cards could be seen in the passenger seat.

The van’s front license plate was found several feet from its busted hood and the post where the Kilohana sign once touted a restaurant, luau and shops.

Morning drive

Trask said he noticed the van at about 7:15 a.m. while driving his son to school. At first he thought someone had just parked it on the side of the road.

But on the way back to work “I took a double take,” Trask recalled.

He said he believes the van was driving from Lihu‘e toward Puhi, and likely spun around.

It’s a shame the sign was broken, Trask said, as it has been a longtime landmark for the area. A cost estimate for repairs was unavailable.

Trask said he was happy the woman wasn’t injured, and that he was looking forward to see the sign “reborn.”

County spokeswoman Sarah Blane wasn’t able to provide more information at press time.

• Jessica Musicar, staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 224) or by e-mailing


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