WAIKAPU - Passengers were transferred to another bus after a Maui Bus was rear-ended by a pickup truck Wednesday afternoon at a stoplight in Waikapu.
The bus, operating on the Lahaina Islander route, was heading toward Wailuku on Honoapiilani Highway, when the collision occurred at 1:16 p.m. at the stoplight at Pilikana Street.
"Light turned yellow, we slowed. Light turned red. Next thing we know, we were hit," said Maalaea resident Glenn McMillen, who was a passenger on the bus. "We were just stopped and the truck slammed into us."
Waikapu Accident truck rear-ends bus
The right rear portion of the bus was struck by a white Nissan Frontier pickup truck.
The pickup driver, a 29-year-old Wailuku resident, was taken by ambulance to Maui Memorial Medical Center with injuries considered not life-threatening, said Maui police spokesman Lt. Wayne Ibarra. No one on the bus was injured, he said.
Colorado residents Francisco and Vanessa Gallegos, who had boarded the bus at Wharf Cinema Center in Lahaina and were heading to Queen Ka'ahumanu Center, estimated 15 to 18 people were onboard, although many had caught rides to leave the area before the other bus arrived to pick up the passengers shortly before 2 p.m.
While firefighters sweep debris from Honoapiilani Highway, police examine the wreck of a Nissan Frontier pickup truck that rear-ended a Maui Bus at the highway’s intersection with Pilikana Street at 1:16 p.m. Wednesday.
The Maui News / BRIAN PERRY photo
The Gallegoses were sitting in the second row when the crash happened.
"We were completely stopped before we felt the hit in the back," Vanessa Gallegos said. "I'm glad everybody was OK on the bus."
She said the couple, celebrating their first wedding anniversary and staying in Kaanapali, are in Hawaii for the first time. It was also the first time she had ridden a bus and the first time she had been in an accident, Vanessa Gallegos said.
Harry Johnson, operations manager for Roberts Hawaii, which runs the Maui Bus service, said he couldn't comment.
"It won't affect service," said Jo Anne Johnson Winer, director of the county Department of Transportation.
It was the second time in the past 30 days that a Maui Bus was rear-ended, she said.
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