A Kula man died on New Year’s Day following a motor vehicle accident shortly after 6 a.m. on Pulehu Road just south of Omaopio Road in Kula.
According to the Maui Police Department, a 2004 Honda CR-V multi-purpose vehicle was traveling southbound on Pulehu Road attempting to negotiate a right curve in the roadway. The vehicle lost control and crossed the centerline and onto the opposing shoulder. The vehicle traveled back into the southbound lane but overcorrected and again crossed left of the centerline and struck a dirt embankment on the opposing shoulder. The dirt embankment caused the vehicle to flip and roll into a large metal utility pole where the operator was partially ejected from the vehicle.
The operator of the vehicle was pronounced dead at the scene. He has been identified as 20-year-old Mau Loa Pacheco.
The involvement of speed, drugs, and alcohol are still pending investigation.
This is Maui County’s first traffic fatality for 2019 as compared to none the same time last year.