Categorized | News

Hwy 19 at Kaawalii Gulch now open after morning overturned fuel truck crash


By Baron Sekiya | Hawaii 24/7

An 8,000 gallon tanker truck from C&F Trucking flipped onto its side on Highway 19 (Mamalahoa Highway) on the Honokaa side of Kaawalii Gulch Wednesday morning (July 21).

Fire/rescue crews responded to the 6:32 a.m. alarm and once on scene extricated a 40 year-old driver from the tanker and transported him to North Hawaii Community Hospital. The driver was reported to be in serious condition.

The tanker was carrying Naphtha fuel with most of the fuel leaking out. A recovery tanker was brought on scene and was able to vacuum out the remaining fuel in the tanker.

Hawaii County Civil Defense reports that although the roadway has been cleared of the accident the air quality remains at unsafe levels for public access. The highway has been closed indefinitely by order of the State Department of Transportation’s Highways Division.

Work crews are excavating the soil that the fuel has spilled into. Once the fuel soaked soil is removed new air quality measurements will be taken to determine if the highway is safe to be opened.

Motorists should find alternate routes as the roadway was still closed as of 2:45  p.m.

UPDATE: Kaawalii Gulch has just opened to to traffic as of 3:45 p.m.

5 Responses to “Hwy 19 at Kaawalii Gulch now open after morning overturned fuel truck crash”

  1. @Lkinoshita says:

    Baron, you're awesome. I was having trouble finding MM 28 on Google Maps, and here you are. 1st listing on Google Search for "Kaawalii". Way to go! My #1 source for local news!

    • Hawaii 24/7 says:

      Mile Marker 28 is actually on the Hilo side of the gulch before the turn into it. The accident was on the Honokaa side of the gulch but traffic is being stopped up to MM 28 instead of letting folks heading north proceed into the gulch.

  2. Jenny says:

    According to the police, the gulch will be closed until the evening because of unacceptably high gas levels.

  3. HaoleCat says:

    I came up to the accident site today at 6:40. Hope that poor guy is okay. On the way home around 5pm, the highway was open, but you could really smell the gas from inside the car.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.