By: Mari-Ela David
KALIHI (KHNL) - A tractor trailer crashed on the busy Nimitz Highway. The big rig flipped on its side spilling its load and damaging traffic signals. The crash happened just outside the KHNL News 8 studio. Getting through the area was a total nightmare.
Police set-up a detour around the scene and that caused a back-up that stretched for miles. Car after car inched along, trying to get around the big rig spill.
It was a messy commute for drivers stuck in a traffic jam lasting for four brutal hours.
"It was a mess. It was really hot and it's slow," says Dan Gunderson, a commuter.
"I was right off the airport viaduct it took 20 minutes just to get here," says driver Lance Daclison.
Chopper 8 caught video of cars inching painfully slow through Nimitz highway and Sand Island Access Road, the scene of the truck accident.
"This simple carelessness by the driver, you know, that has disrupted the traffic pattern here. And just be cautious is what we're asking all drivers to do," says Major Kurt Kendro of the Honolulu Police Department.
The big rig was on Sand Island making a left onto Nimitz. It made the turn too fast, rolled over, flipped on its side and crashed into an overhead traffic signal. Other truckers who make this turn everyday say it is not a dangerous intersection.
"No, it's not a difficult turn for me. I think the guy's speeding. Bad mistake, probably running the light," says trucker Milo Guillermo.
"It's just moving too fast, too heavy a load, too high-centered gravity, that'll do it," says Rick Carter, a safety officer for Honolulu Freight Service, a nearby trucking company.
Crews closed Ewa bound lanes on Nimitz to replace the broken traffic signal. They cleared the mess in time for the rush hour commute.