County worker killed in highway crash

LIHUE — A county employee died Thursday morning and two co-workers were injured following a crash about 9:30 on Kaumualii Highway, just east of Eleele.

Police have not released the name of the 55-year-old victim. However, officials confirmed he is a county employee and a resident of Kalaheo.

“This is a very sad day for our County of Kauai ohana as we mourn the loss of one of our fellow team members,” said Mayor Bernard P. Carvalho, Jr. “Our hearts go out to his family and loved ones, and to all of the individuals involved in this incredibly tragic incident.”

According to a preliminary investigation, the victim was next to a trailer attached to a county pickup truck parked along the westbound shoulder of Kaumualii Highway between mile marker 14 and 15 when the crash occurred. The county employees were reportedly repairing a tire attached to the parked trailer when a westbound semi-truck tried to stop abruptly due to traffic, veered off the roadway and collided with the parked trailer.

One of the men was killed. The two injured men were taken to Kauai Veterans Memorial Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

The driver of the semi-truck did not report any injuries.

Investigators closed Kaumualii Highway in both directions for about four hours. Traffic was diverted onto Halewili Road until both lanes were reopened about 2:30 p.m.

The crash remains under investigation.

Another accident in Nukolii on Thursday involved four cars and injuries on Kuhio Highway about 3 p.m.

According to county spokesperson Sarah Blane, the accident occurred when a vehicle turning left out of Kauai Beach Drive was struck by a vehicle heading north on Kuhio Highway.

The female driver attempting the left turn was transported to Wilcox Hospital with non-life threatening injuries, Blane said. She had no passengers.

Kauai Police Dispatch Center alerted responders to possible injuries to three children ages 2, 5, and 9, along with a 62-year-old woman, who reported chest pains.

“The female driver of the vehicle heading north had four children in her vehicle at the time of the crash, ranging in age from 5 months to nine years old,” Blane said. “All five occupants were transported to Wilcox Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.”

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