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Wayne Parsons
Wayne Parsons
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Trailer Hitch Failure Leads to Death of Michael Davison in Kona on Sunday

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Deadly automobile accidents continue to plague the Big Island roads. Our condolences go out to the family of a 49-year-old California man who was killed on Sunday in a freak accident on Queen Kaahumanu Highway near Makala Boulevard. The Star Bulletin reports the story in Monday’s on-line edition.

A pickup truck driven by a 36-year-old Lahaina man was going in the opposite direction and a trailer hitch failed on the pickup allowing a trailer carrying three canoes to roll free. It crossed the centerline of Queen Kaahumanu Highway and collided with the California man’s vehicle. One of the canoes broke free in the collision and crashed through the windshield resulting in the death of the California man.

The deceased has been identified by police as 49-year-old Michael Davison of California. Davison was taken to Kona Community Hospital where he died at 9:45 a.m. a short time after the collision.

Although we call these tragedies freak accidents, I see many of these deaths as preventable incidents and avoidable deaths. Certainly for Michael Davison it is too late and his family will have to suffer through the tragedy. I am sure that the driver and passengers in the pickup truck are also in shock and devastated by what happened.

As time goes forward the question is what happened? The police have opened a negligent homicide investigation. At first blush the facts don’t seem to support any criminal activity. The investigation will serve the purpose of finding out why the trailer broke loose. Was the latch improperly attached? Did the trailer hitch fail because it was defective? Why did the canoe crash through the windshield? Was the canoe properly attached to the trailer. Did a rope fail? The police investigation will get to the bottom of the what happened. That will take time as it should.

This accident fits into a category of automobile accidents known as wrong way driver cases even though the trailer was not being driven after it broke loose. These wrong way driver cases have gained national notice lately.

Twenty-Six More Wrong-Way Interstate Highway Drivers By Steve Lombardi

Interstate Highways and Wrong-way Drivers just seem to go hand in hand. By Steve Lombardi

The Kona collision involving the run-away happened at 8:48 a.m. and the trailer carrying the canoes is said to have "crossed the median" of Queen Kaahumanu Highway, where it hit Mr. Davison’s oncoming 2009 Ford SUV. As you can see from this satellite image, Queen Kaahumanu Highway has a median strip and is wide in this area. That means the trailer had to navigate quite a distance to collide with the Ford SUV.

The driver of the pickup hauling the trailer, a 36-year-old Lahaina man, and his passengers were not injured.