Crash causes power outage and traffic delays on Kauai

WAILUA, KAUAI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Kauai County officials say single-car collision on Kuhio Highway lead to a power outage that affected nearly roughly 900 customers in the Wailua area.

The crash happened just before 3 a.m. Thursday when a pickup truck, traveling north on the highway, veered off the roadway and crashed into the base of a utility pole along the northbound lane.

The accident scene was near the Leho Drive/Kuhio Highway junction.

The 31-year-old Kapaa man driving the pickup reported only minor injuries and did not require medical attention. Police say a 32-year-old passenger suffered minor injuries to his hand and was taken to Wilcox Hospital for further treatment.

Crews from Kauai Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC) immediately responded to the scene.

The repair work required the closure of the two northbound lanes of the highway in the vicinity of the crash.

Power was restored by about 4:20 a.m. but crews remained on scene, and lanes remained closed, until the damaged pole could be replaced at about 9:35 a.m.

"The severed pole was a larger, heavier transmission pole that carries power to and from the Lydgate substation," states KIUC Communications Manager Jim Kelly. "Due to the size of the pole and the number of lines it carries, it took longer to replace than a standard utility pole."

To accommodate the lane closures, traffic was diverting northbound through the north Leho Road entrance, and minimizing southbound contra-flow to one lane in the surrounding area.

KPD patrol officers helped to alleviate the traffic impact by directing southbound motorists to use Leho Road as an alternative route.

All lanes of the highway reopened at around 10 a.m. and State DOT crews reinstated the normal contra-flow pattern.

The crash remains under police investigation; however, alcohol does not appear to have been a factor.

"We understand that motorists are frustrated following this morning's incident, but with the holidays upon us and road improvements happening islandwide, traffic delays can be expected at all times," stated Assistant Chief of the Patrol Services Bureau Ale Quibilan. "By staying alert and driving with caution, you can anticipate sudden stops or changes to normal traffic patterns and avoid collisions that could further exacerbate your commute."

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