Drivers Stranded After H-1 Turns Into Crime Scene

Dean Harden
Dean Harden

HONOLULU (KHNL) -- The freeway became a crime scene and that's why all lanes of west bound traffic shut down.

That left many people stuck, sitting in their cars for up to four hours, even side streets were clogged.

Some drivers got so frustrated with not being able to go forward we watched as they actually turned around and drove the wrong way on the freeway back toward Hawaii Kai.

The freeway closure caused a massive parking lot on the H-1 from east Honolulu through town. Unsuspecting drivers hit a wall of traffic.

"We have been moving inches just very very little," said Jan Reid, a passenger.

Stranded motorists agonized over the tragedy.

"My heart goes out to that child because today is my son's 3 year birthday so it just really I'm crushed by it it's hard to believe somebody could do that," said driver Elizabeth Brown.

Others didn't know the reason for the delay

"How long have you been waiting? Came over the rise at 1 so about a half hour. Have you moved at all? sure just like you have 400 yards only," said motorist Dean Harden.

That half hour would turn into a two and a half hour wait until a couple of lanes opened. Some killed time the best they could

"Oh it's fine, I have a book to read and I don't know what's happened but I have a book to read and I'll just get there when I can," said driver Vicky Merritt.

Many who were not moving cancelled plans.

"I had an appointment but I got my cell and I've phoned them to say I'm going to be late."

Late indeed. Some turned around and drove the wrong way back toward east Honolulu. Others went the wrong way up on-ramps just to get out of the gridlock which spilled over onto many sidestreets.

Around 3:00 p.m.,  police opened a few lanes and traffic started moving but sidestreets in the downtown and chinatown areas remained jammed.

Several officers with the solo bike detail handed out tickets to drivers who violated traffic laws and went the wrong way on the freeway.