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Two young Maui residents lost their lives at Maliko Gulch Saturday night. The area is just past Ho’okipa Beack Park in the Hana direction on Hana Highway.

The vehicle left the highway and crossed onto a dirt area at the cliff, and then plunged into the ocean 188 feet below, according to initial news reports.

The police are investigating contributing factors in the crash. Aside from the normal questions about speed, fatigue and other common factors in car crashes, I note that there are often barriers, such as guard rails, that block cliffs along main roads along the coast.

The tragedy adds two young Maui residents to the list of highway fatalities on Maui in 2019. The total is now 19 deaths. Each one is an unimaginable tragedy and loss, from which their families and friends will never fully recover. Our thoughts go out to the families, and we should all be more aware of highway safety and safe driving. Everyone should speak up for your own safety and the safety of others.

I speak to teens at high schools throughout Hawai‘i about the threat of distracted driving. I wonder if a cell phone or audio or video device, was involved as a distraction in this tragic Maui crash? A group of trial lawyers like me, has now spoken with over 400,000 teens across the country, as part of a national effort started by Casey’s parents Joel and Diane, to save others from such a tragedy by educating teens and their parents about Distracted Driving. The effort is explained at EndDD.org. It not only commemorates the life of Casey Feldman but seeks to prevent injuries and deaths on the highway.

Something went wrong at Maliko Gulch on Saturday night, because the young woman driving the pickup truck should have been able to make the curve shown in the images above. Regardless of the explanation, there is nothing worse than the death of a young person, in this case two.

 

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