Commentary – A Giant Tree Almost Killed Me Last Night on HWY 132

I received the following commentary:

Dear Damon,

I really had a close call last night.

Tree Smash

Was driving down on my way home in Kapoho through the tree tunnel by Lava Tree state park. I heard a thunderous crack and saw for a split second a giant branch on it way down directly in front of me…not sure if I hit it first or it hit the road first but I hit it hard.

Tree Smash 2

Airbags went off and smoke filled the cabin…when I came to I was choking from the airbag smoke I got out from the car, dazed. The occupants from the car behind me asked if I was OK and said that they saw the tree come down and I was lucky to be alive…Police said I was lucky to be alive as well.

The force was enough to crack the block on the engine and spray oil and engine parts on the road.

Tree Smash 3I drive through that tree tunnel of old junk albizias every day… So do my loved ones and friends. Almost every local resident has a story of branches of all sizes down in the road and near misses.

I ask why does the county allow such a persistent and inevitable threat to exist? All one has to do is look up at the mass of giant tangled limbs and it not hard to see the gravity of the situation.

Who’s next? Will they be lucky like me? Only sore, bruised and shaken or will they be more gravely injured? 

I am a farmer by trade and don’t think I will be picking up any baskets of ginger for a while.

I will be writing letters to the County of Hawaii public works, road maintenance division as well as our council members asking the same questions above.

Tree Smash 4

In a perfect world my sincere story would be enough to get them moving to take care of this obvious problem, however If you would like to share my story on your blog it may help shine a light on this issue.

Thank you kindly,

Daniel Kelly

4 Responses

  1. This part of the road is very dangerous. It has great beauty but it is not worth it. I’m for clearing the trees and making it safer.I believe they leave it that way for the tourist and have no regard for the people that use it everyday.

  2. Super scary… I recently had a near miss with a big branch too! I’ve seen trees down there that were big enough to crush a car, but even a smaller branch could cause someone to swerve and cause an accident.

  3. OMG! I worry about this happening every single time I drive down that stretch of road, thank goodness you are okay Dan. Let’s get out Puna reps on this asap.

    • From New Mexico. We’re happy you’re ok. Perhaps this incident will result in the county taking responsibility for public safety and wellbeing.
      It’s a mainstay of governing. Heal up quick.

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