Cane smoke is responsible for highway crashes

June 18, 2013
The Maui News

On June 11 [2013] at about 5:30 a.m., my son and I were driving to Lahaina.

After we passed the Maui Lani subdivision, we saw a glow up ahead on Kuihelani Highway. Cane fires are common here, but I was shocked that the fire was so close to the road.

As I approached, I slowed and saw the other cars around us did the same. We were immediately engulfed in smoke and it was impossible to see even 2 feet in front of us.

With the smoke so thick and completely covering the road, there was no way for cars to see or drive safely. We were hit from behind and we heard another crash in the thick of the smoke.

I don’t know what Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. was doing that morning, or if anyone was trying to control this fire, but it seems pretty obvious that something went wrong, and HC&S was negligent in keeping this burning safe for the community.

I think we deserve some answers.

Dawna Richmond

[Note that there were two car crashes reported in this area at this time]