DLNR investigates stranded Jeep at Kaena Point

The Jeep Wrangler was found sitting in about three feet of water Saturday afternoon.

Honolulu Police say several bystanders came to help and found the man and the woman inside unconscious.

All the windows were closed and someone had to break the back window to get in and and get them out.

Investigators say at this point, it appears the driver and passenger inhaled the poisonous carbon monoxide trying to get the Jeep out of the mud bog.

“We do not see any damages to the vehicle indicating it rolled over. From what we understand at the hospital, the victims do not have any obvious signs of any injuries. So we are looking at the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning at this point,” Lt. Bobby Towne said.

Police believe the 32-year-old man was driving and the woman in the passenger’s seat is 26 years old. Lt. Towne says the key was still in the ignition in the “on” position when help arrived. He says the vehicle wasn’t equipped to get out of that terrain.

“Based on the tires that we saw I don’t think so,” Towne said.

“It wasn’t really a good idea to be in that area?” KHON asked.

“Not in that depth of water,” Towne said.

The Jeep was towed out of the bog Sunday morning as investigators with HPD, state Department of Land and Natural Resources, and Military Police got a closer look.

At least one of the two people in the Jeep is in the Army.

The DLNR chairman says there are signs that tell visitors where off road vehicles are allowed to go and no one should have been in this area.

“These folks were obviously not on a designated road and likely doing some activities that are discouraged there such as mud bogging,” DLNR director William Aila said.

But many others don’t obey the rules. We caught a few Jeeps in the same area Sunday morning. Aila says DLNR officers cite drivers who break the law. However the department is understaffed, which is why he’s asking the state legislature for more funding to fill up to 25 vacancies statewide.

“So if we can get those filled and if we can get the operations funds for the gasoline, the purchase of the vehicles, the training done, we believe we should be able to have a larger presence at Kaena,” Aila said.

Drivers who violate the rules at Kaena Point can be fined up to a thousand dollars and a year in jail.

Related story: Rescue crews respond to stranded vehicle at Kaena Point

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