Hana teen dies after SUV goes over 300-foot cliff

By Clayton Wakida, KITV Digital Media Manager, KITV Digital Media Manager
Published On: Apr 24 2014 10:42:34 AM HST
Updated On: Apr 25 2014 07:04:22 AM HST
HANA, Hawaii -

Fire officials say a 17-year-old boy from Hana died after a vehicle went off Hana highway and down a cliff on Thursday.

The Maui News is reporting the teenager was Isaiah Pu-Akima, a star football and volleyball player at Hana High School.  He was among 15 seniors graduating this year.

It happened about 1.6 miles north of Lower Keanae Road at around 12:30 a.m.

Police say a 1998 Toyota RAV4 pulling a trailer was heading in the direction of Kahului when the vehicle veered to the right and struck a guard rail.  The vehicle then went over the guard rail.

The SUV went about 300 feet down a cliff.  It landed on lava rocks and burst into flames.  Police say the driver of the SUV died in the crash.

An 18-year-old man in the passenger seat, also from Hana, was ejected from the vehicle and managed to climb up the cliff and call for help.  He had minor injuries and was treated at the scene.

Both of the teens were not wearing their seat belts, according to police.

At around 6:30 a.m., the victim was airlifted to a landing zone at Keanae Ball Park.

Police are investigating the cause in the incident.  This is Maui County's 10th traffic fatality in 2014 compared with four at the same time last year.

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