Hanapepe man dies following Kekaha traffic crash

KEKAHA — A Hanapepe man died of injuries sustained in a single-vehicle crash on Kaumualii Highway in Kekaha Thursday evening.

Police identified the victim as 37-year-old Joseph Kauahi, Jr.

According to a preliminary investigation, Kauahi was heading west in a Toyota Tacoma about 5:30 p.m., near the entrance to the Kekaha Landfill, when the truck veered off the roadway and struck a utility pole. The impact of the crash caused the truck to roll over and land on its side, trapping the driver inside.

Firefighters from the Waimea station responded to extricate the driver from the vehicle. He was transported by medics to Wilcox Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Kauahi was the sole occupant of the vehicle at the time of the crash.

Officers from KPD’s Traffic Safety Section closed the highway in both directions from 6:30 p.m. to roughly 10:15 p.m. to conduct an on-scene investigation.

It is not known at this time if speed or alcohol was a factor in the crash.

Police are continuing their investigation and anyone with information on the incident is urged to contact Traffic Safety Officer Shawn Hanna at 241-1618.

This is the third traffic fatality on Kauai this year, compared to six at this time last year.

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