KAHULUI, Maui (KHNL) Department of Transportation officials say a Hawaii air ambulance carrying three people has crashed on Maui, killing everyone on board.
DOT spokesman Scott Ishikawa tells KHNL the Cessna 414 crashed into the BMW of Maui dealership in Kahului located on Koloa street at about 7:15 PM HST Wednesday evening. The plane was reportedly headed to Maui to pick up a patient when the trouble happened.
Andrew Kluger, CEO of Hawaii Air Ambulance identified the dead as 32-year-old pilot Peter Miller of Kailua, Brien Eisaman, a 37-year-old registered nurse and assistant chief flight nurse, of Waipahu, and Marlena Yomes, a 39-year-old paramedic and Honolulu base station supervisor, of Waianae. Officials say no one on the ground was hurt.
Eyewitness Kelly Adzuara described the crash to KHNL by phone:
"All of a sudden, all you see is black smoke and red fire, when it just dropped on top of the BMW. And I yelled, right away, the plane just crashed! Call 911!"
"The way it landed it just probably broke all the cars and made a big bang with the smoke. And this red fire started. I would say not even five minutes later we heard a big bang and it was so loud, it was like the earth was falling or something."
The streets surrounding BMW of Maui are now open. The debris field stretched from Hana Highway all they way over to a field behind the dealership.
Many people looked up and saw the struggling plane as it approached the airport.
Hiddlikel Huddhy was shopping when she noticed the struggling aircraft. "I was at Safeway pushing a cart and looked up saw giant plane. It was so low, about 20 feet above the roofs. It was bobbing and weaving. It went down slowly and then a boom and smoke everywhere."
Robert Rossback told News 8, "The plane went around suddenly and I heard one engine in trouble, then it was coming in on its side. I lost sight of it, then saw a big ball of fire."
Chalsey Kwon witnessed the crash, "We turned to look at the plane and all of a sudden we just saw this huge plane coming toward us. It was on its side and in the next few second crashed into BMW dealership."
Joe Hommel says the plane flew right over his truck, "It came in at my 11 o'clock, right above my truck. It came through the palm trees on the median and I thought it was going to hit me."
The plane crashed about a mile short of the runway.
Hawaii Air Ambulance pilot Peter Miller, nurse Brien Eisaman and medic Marlena Yomes died in the crash.
Family and friends on Maui brought flowers to a makeshift memorial.
The bodies were removed from the scene around 3pm.