Army Apologizes For Freeway Accident

Major General Stephen Tom
Major General Stephen Tom
Scott Ishikawa
Scott Ishikawa

By Joann Shin

(KHNL) - It was an accident that stopped thousands of drivers in their tracks and left Aiea with half a bridge.

Wednesday, the military said it was sorry.

"Express the extreme, deep regret the U.S. Army Pacific for the effect of this accident had on the whole community," said Major General Stephen Tom, Deputy Commander General for U.S. Army Pacific.

Witnesses reported seeing this excavator clip other freeway signs and lighting fixtures before slamming into the bridge.

According to Scott Ishikawa with the state Department of Transportation, "We did take a look out there from the Pearl Harbor base out to Aiea. We did notice four overhead signs that were damaged."

What's more this excavator should have never been on the H-1.

The state requires drivers to apply for permits if they transport oversized loads on state highways.

"I want to confirm a permit from the Department of Transportation was not applied for," explained Maj. Gen. Tom.

Now the question is who will pay for the damages.

"I want you to know the Army is a responsible member of this community and it will do the responsible thing depending on the outcome of the investigation," said Maj. General Tom.

While crews worked to demolish the damaged bridge, frustrated drivers wondered why the state couldn't divert traffic onto eastbound lanes.

"To have a contra-flow on a freeway, you really need to put some kind of protective barrier like the zipper lane. you can not put orange cones and hope that people will not, you know, not get into head-on collisions," said Ishikawa.