WAILUA — The ironic thing is that a guard rail was built not that long ago in response to the high number of accidents on a stretch of Kuamoo Road. It just wasn’t long enough.
A two-vehicle crash on Kuamoo Road Thursday morning resulted in non-life threatening injuries for one driver and shutdown the westbound lane for more than an hour.
The crash occurred shortly before 10 a.m. on a bend in the road mauka of Opaekaa Falls where there have been several accidents that caused damage to property over the past few years, resulting in the installation of a guard rail along a portion of the curve. But the accident took place just beyond where the guard rail ends.
Kauai Police Department spokeswoman Sarah Blane said a preliminary investigation shows that shortly before 10 a.m. a Mazda sedan crossed the centerline and struck an oncoming Honda minivan, which swerved to try and avoid the collision. The impact of the crash caused both vehicles to hit a hollow concrete brick wall, punching holes through it. The Mazda came to a stop half with part still on the road and part sticking through the brick wall into a backyard. The Honda bounced off the brick wall, knocking part of it down, and then crashed through a wood fence next door where it came to a stop.
The driver of the Mazda, a 59-year-old man from Kapaa, sustained non-life threatening injuries and was transported to Wilcox Hospital. The male driver of the Honda did not report any injuries.
J.J. Alonzo was home at the time of the crash. He said, the driver of the red Mazda had lacerations but seemed to be alright.
“I was just getting ready to get out and work the dogs,” Alonzo said. “I heard this screeching, and when I came out, I saw this red car come through the fence. The guy driving the car went off in an ambulance. He had a gash on his head, and there were some neck injuries, too.”
Alonzo’s neighbor Richard Dias’ home is situated with the backyard along Kuamoo Road.
“This is not the first time the fence has been run into,” he said. “About two years ago, the fence was broken by two motorcyclists involved in an accident. There have been a lot of near-misses, too. The speed limit on Kuamoo Road is 35 miles per hour, but everyone speeds.”
Dias pointed out that the Honda pulled out the concrete piling from his wooden fence during the crash.
“It takes some speed to do that, and he hit another wall before he hit mine,” Dias said.
Alonzo said that although this was the first time someone ran into their fence, another neighbor had his wall run into multiple times before the guard rail was erected.