Kauai police arrest driver involved in deadly crash

James Monroe (Photo: Courtesy Kauai Police Dept.)

Kauai police have arrested the driver involved in a fatal traffic crash in Kilauea Tuesday night.

James Monroe, 51, was arrested Wednesday morning for negligent injury and negligent homicide. Police say he was the driver of the Ford pickup truck that struck and killed a Kilauea man along Kuhio Hwy. at around 7:25 p.m., just south of Wailapa Rd.

According to police, the north-bound Ford apparently crossed the center line and sideswiped a south-bound Jeep SUV before crashing into a Dodge SUV. The head-on collision caused the Dodge SUV to overturn, resulting in fatal injuries to the driver, 28-year-old Samuel Mitzel of Kilauea.

The passenger in the Dodge, a 55-year-old Kilauea man, was initially taken to Wilcox Hospital, then flown to Queen’s Medical Center on Oahu where he remains in critical condition. The female driver of the Jeep SUV, age 50 of Kilauea, was transported to Wilcox Hospital and has since been released.

Monroe was also treated at Wilcox Hospital following the crash. He was arrested upon his release from the hospital early Wednesday morning.

The fatal traffic crash resulted in a six-hour closure of Kuhio Hwy. The highway was reopened in both directions at 1:30 a.m. Wednesday.

This is the first traffic fatality on Kauai in 2014.

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