Crash kills 1 in Wailua

LIHU‘E — A two-car crash Saturday afternoon on Kuhio Highway fronting the Wailua Golf Course injured several and killed 56-year-old Anahola resident Laurey Fernandez, county officials confirmed.

The wreck happened around 2:47 p.m. near Mile Marker 4 when a Ford Explorer heading north crossed the centerline and crashed into a Dodge pick-up truck, a county a news release states.

Fernandez was a passenger in the Explorer along with four others plus the driver, the release states. The passengers of the Explorer and driver of the pick-up were taken to Wilcox Memorial Hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries. The passenger in the Dodge was unharmed.

The death marks the second traffic fatality in the same area in less than a month and the sixth on Kaua‘i roads this year.

On Sept. 11, Nahele Kapua, 16, of Hanama‘ulu died of injuries sustained as a passenger in a one-car crash on Kuhio Highway near Kaua‘i Community Correctional Center. Kapua was Kaua‘i’s fifth traffic fatality of 2011.

The highway was closed for a few hours in both directions after the crash Saturday.

The bypass roads were opened at around 3:20 p.m., the release states, and traffic moved slowly along these roads. The highway was reopened at approximately 5:40 p.m.

The speed limit on this stretch of highway was dropped from 50 mph to 40 mph on Oct. 12, 2009, in an effort to improve public safety. The three-mile “Blood Alley” runs roughly from Kaua‘i Beach Resort to Wailua Beach. There were 10 fatal crashes along this corridor from 2000 until the speed limit was changed.

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