KULA (HawaiiNewsNow) - Five people are dead and four others were injured in a head-on car crash in Upcountry Maui Sunday morning. Investigators believe speed and alcohol were factors.
Maui police identified the dead as Karl Barrack, 20, of Pukalani, Remington Taylor Redwell, 20, of Lahaina, Steven R. Shaw, 20, of Lahaina, Annastachia Cruz-Kalua, 19, of Pukalani, and Ambrose Momoa, 20, of Waiehu.
Investigators say none of the five was wearing a seat belt.
It's the deadliest traffic crash on Maui in recent memory. It happened on Kula Highway between Noholoa Place and Lower Kula Road at about 6:30 AM.
The five who died were passengers in a car that tore apart upon impact. Police say the two halves wound up 185 feet apart.
Kula is often described as quaint and rustic. But on Sunday, the town was propelled into the spotlight after a violent head-on collision between two four-door sedans on Kula Highway right outside Sally Keanini's home.
"The car was split right in half and the other piece was right by the guard rail further more down," Keanini said. "Then the other car was facing towards the dirt pile and was really smashed, the front."
Maui police say a 1998 Dodge Neon carrying six people was speeding north-bound towards Pukalani when it spun out of control, crossed the center line and slammed into a south-bound 2003 Suzuki Aerio carrying three people.
Five unbuckled passengers in the Dodge were thrown from the vehicle upon impact. Four of them died at the scene. The fifth died at Maui Memorial Medical Center.
"They took one body over from the dirt pile and brought it over with, all covered and everything," Keanini said. "Then we seen one body, was right by the guard rail down on the ground, was dead."
The 46-year-old man driving the Suzuki, his 47-year-old wife and a 55-year-old female passenger in the back seat, all from Pukalani, were rushed to Maui Memorial Medical Center. Police say the 55-year-old remains in stable condition, while the couple was treated and released.
The 21-year-old driver of the Dodge also survived. Investigators say he was the only one in his car wearing a seat belt.
"Police investigators do suspect speed and alcohol," Lt. Wayne Ibarra, Maui Police Department, said. "They are investigating also the possibility of narcotics or drugs."
Kula Highway was shut down while police investigated. It was re-opened six hours after the deadly crash.
Area residents are urging drivers to slow down.
"It's too much," Keanini said. "It's getting really ridiculous on this road. They speeding too many times."
Maui County's traffic death toll for 2012 now stands at 10, compared to three at this time last year.
Police have not released the names of those who survived the crash.