Mechanical Failure May Have Contributed to Deadly Kula Crash on Halloween Night
* Updated November 2, 8:56 AM
A single car crash in Kula claimed the life of a 76-year-old Kula woman on Halloween night. Police say a preliminary investigation reveals that the 1941 Ford Woody station wagon that the woman was driving, sustained a mechanical failure which may have contributed to the crash.
The incident was reported at 8:24 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 31, on the Haleakalā Highway (Hwy. 37), approximately 0.3 miles west of Keahua Road near Mile 3.
A preliminary police investigation reveals the operator of the vehicle was traveling eastbound (Kula direction) on the highway. The driver lost control of the vehicle, crossed the grass median and the station wagon flipped over, landing in the westbound (Kahului direction) lanes of Haleakalā Highway.
As a result of the crash, the driver died at the scene. She has since been identified by police as Linda Howlett, 76, of Kula.
A 76-year-old Kula man who was a front seat passenger, was transported to the Maui Memorial Medical Center for treatment and evaluation of non-life threatening injuries.
Investigation reveals that the operator and passenger were both wearing lap belt restraints at the time of the crash. This vehicle was not equipped with air-bags.
Police say the involvement of speed, drugs and alcohol do not appear to be factors at this time; however final determination will be made by Vehicle Homicide Investigators.
This is the 15th traffic fatality on County of Maui roads this year, compared to six at the same time last year.