Siblings take to removing derelict vehicle at Anini

  • Contributed by Kona Wong

    Blue Nissan Pathfinder found its way back onto Anini Beach’s roadside after being stuck on the rocks of the shoreline for almost two weeks.

‘ANINI — After two weeks of seeing an abandoned blue Nissan Pathfinder stuck on the rocks of ‘Anini Beach’s northern shoreline, two siblings and friends rolled up their sleeves on Monday.

Megan Wong, a resident of Kilauea, recently posted on a Kaua‘i Facebook page about the vehicle.

“Been there for almost weeks,” Megan said. “I drove by and posted it on Facebook, and my brother drove by yesterday (Monday) and still saw it there. He called me yesterday, and he and his friends weren’t prepared to wait anymore, they knew the surf was coming up, so they assembled and took it out.”

On Monday, Megan’s brother, Kona Wong, saw the car still at ‘Anini. The Wongs called the Mayor’s office and the state Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) office to figure out who was accountable for removing it.

“I called to find out who is responsible, it was in-between state and county right on the water,” Kona said. “I checked it out, seen the gas and fuel coming out on the rocks, high surf coming in today and tomorrow.”

Kona said the county and state were holding each other accountable for the vehicle, not confirming if they would remove it.

“I thought to myself if they no like do it, I will,” Kona said. “I will get it to a safer location for the time being. With a couple of friends, we hooked it up to our trucks, one of them worked at the Fire Department, and he brought oil rock granules to soak up the oils. We used two chainsaws, two trucks, and some shovels.”

Kona said the vehicle was balanced off the rocks by trees nearby, which had to cut to release the vehicle off the rocks.

“For me, when we see anything going in the community, it is our job, it’s our kuleana,” Kona said. “It’s our job to take care of our backyard and front beach. No, wait just do it. If you know you can do it. If you know you can help without injuring anyone and if you have the means.”

According to Kona, after he and his friends pulled the vehicle to the side of the road, the Kaua‘i Police Department sent a police officer to tag it to be removed.

KPD posts abandoned and derelict vehicles as they are reported. Vehicles are removed during each business day, Monday through Friday. Typically, multiple vehicles are removed each day.

“KPD must post an Abandoned Vehicle notice for at least 24 hours, allowing time for the owner to retrieve the vehicle may take longer depending on the circumstances, such as if the vehicle is on state or county beaches which require a separate procurement process,” a spokesperson for KPD said. “Also, tows that are considered difficult can cause delays.”

KPD is not legally permitted to remove abandoned or derelict vehicles from private property.

“Although you may see an abandoned or derelict sticker posted on the vehicle on private property, it is the responsibility of the property owner to have the vehicle removed,” the spokesperson said. “Every Kaua‘i resident can dispose of up to three vehicles a year for free at Puhi Metals recycling center. This means you have until December 31 to dispose of up to three vehicles at no charge. And next year you can dispose of three more vehicles.”

DLNR spokesperson Giovonni Parks confirmed the office received a call about the blue Nissan Pathfinder, and must investigate each case.

“It depends on who owns the land in question. When a vehicle is reported as abandoned, possibly on DLNR Lands, an officer is sent out to investigate the complaint. If it is determined to be on DLNR Lands, the vehicle owner or respective DLNR Division is responsible to remove the vehicle.

“If the owner of the vehicle cannot be identified or located, the respective DLNR Division where the vehicle is located on is responsible to remove the vehicle,” Parks said.

While Megan reported the vehicle and her brother and friends got it off the shoreline, they both saw a syringe needle and a camping permit.

“It says we have a deeper, more rooted problem here on our ‘aina,” Megan said.

Both Megan and Kona said, “It’s our kuleana.”

  1. Jeremy B December 31, 2020 7:40 am Reply

    Nice job folks. This kind of interdepartmental finger-pointing leading to delays and inaction is a perfect example of the kind of County-State bureaucratic red tape that the Mayor said he wanted to eliminate as a key focus of his new administration. COVID-19 has reprioritized a lot this year… but this seems like a basic governmental process that could be revisited again for improvements, especially for environmental hazard situations like this. Mahalo for your kokua!

  2. Makani B. Howard December 31, 2020 10:18 am Reply

    People here may hate mainlanders and the mainland, but if this happened there, it would be off the beach in 24 hours! It is insane how long cars stay abandoned on the roads and beaches here! This island is like a 3rd world country sometimes! People say “Protect the aina,” and then they trash it like this! LOL!

    1. mainlanders? December 31, 2020 4:50 pm Reply

      the people who cleaned it were protecting the aina, the drunk who crashed it and left his needle there is a mainland transplant living off your tax dollars. your food bank, snap, doing nothing but posing. So thats the stereotype of a mainlander, or now its the go pro and malibu barbie crowd, you know go pro and the trillion dollar mansion floating in hanalei? or the former malibu mayor who lives on the hanalei river who booted the homeless out of a shelter there….. either way, its disgusting. flat out yes folks here dont truly like the mainlander, the haole or your perceptions.if you so love the mainland go back to the mainland, and if you truly love the aina and wish to malama it , take someone with you.

    2. Jamie Pergolski January 31, 2021 7:11 pm Reply

      After visiting 3 of the glorious and beautiful Hawaiian Islands, my family and I were incredibly distraught about the number of crashed, broken down and burnt out vehicles that line the picturesque roadways of this amazing state!! So sad!! Not only that, the trash cans in the parks or along the roadside lookout points are HEAVING with trash and blowing around the beautiful landscape and ultimately into the ocean!! Totally heartbreaking!!! I wish there were more motivated people to help make a change for this spectacular environment and state!! Hawaii is ALWAYS in my heart!!! 💜🤍💗 Mahalo 💜🤍💗

  3. Jim M December 31, 2020 1:00 pm Reply

    Bravo to Megan & Kona!

    I’m surprised you weren’t cited for violating some rules while doing a great deed.

    1. Humuhumu January 1, 2021 9:46 pm Reply

      Wow…great job! Great to hear about positive news nowadays. BTW…this vehicle is a Nissan Xterra not a Pathfinder.

  4. Lady Mary Ann Chatterley January 1, 2021 6:26 am Reply

    Awesome story to end keia makahiki 2020. Az rai. It is our kuleana. No jus wala’au. Do ’em already. . . La maikai

  5. Johanna Viksne January 2, 2021 7:20 am Reply

    BRAVO to MEGAN & KONA WONG and all the “kids” that took it upon themselves to do what needed to be done. THEY KNEW what was pono and right for the kai and the aina even if the municipal entities could not get their kukai togther! GREAT JOB and MAHALO!

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