3 die in collision on Maui’s Mokulele Highway

Photo courtesy Toya Ramos/MAUIwatch

Maui police report that a motor vehicle collision on Mokulele Highway in Kihei Saturday night resulted in three deaths.

At approximately 9:33 p.m., a blue Dodge pickup truck was conducting a left turn from Mokulele Highway into the Maui Raceway Park entrance. The blue Dodge pickup truck was struck broadside by a white Toyota pickup truck, which was traveling northbound on the highway.

As a result of the collision, all three passengers riding in the bed of the blue Dodge pickup truck were ejected and pronounced dead at the scene.

They were Howard Pruse, 25, of Waiehu; Eric Oguma, 51, also of Waiehu; and Tyree Kamaunu, 27, of Waihee.

A third vehicle, a black Toyota pickup truck, was stopped at the Maui Raceway Park exit waiting to turn right onto Mokulele Highway going north. It was struck by projectiles that were the result of the collision.

The front seat passenger of the blue Dodge pickup truck and all three occupants of the black Toyota pickup truck were transported to the Maui Memorial Medical Center for treatment. The drivers did not need treatment.

An investigation is ongoing. Speed, drugs and alcohol have not been determined as part of the cause of the collision.

In a press conference Sunday, William Gannon, Commander of Traffic Division of the Maui Police Department, said with the combination of Saturday morning’s moped operator fatality in Kahului, “it’s very tragic. We had four fatalities Saturday and it’s taken its toll on the community in general.

“It comes down to the choices that motorists make every day on the roadways — monitoring speed, wearing your seatbelts, beware of mobile electronic devices, or any distraction in the vehicle — and to make those right choices,” he said.

The triple fatality brings Maui County’s total number of traffic deaths to eight, compared to 14 at this same time last year.

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