POSTED: 09:41 p.m. HST, Dec 19, 2012
LAST UPDATED: 09:56 p.m. HST, Dec 19, 2012
Fifteen people were injured, and one critically, in a head-on collision between a sport utility vehicle and a Hele-On Bus in Ookala on Hawaii island this afternoon.
The male driver of a mid-size SUV was pinned inside and was extricated using the Jaws of Life, Hawaii County fire officials said. He was taken in critical condition to a hospital.
Several patients with minor injuries from the bus were taken by various medic units to either the North Hilo or Hilo Medical Center emergency rooms.
Hawaii County fire personnel responded to the 3:53 p.m. accident and the first unit arrived by 4:05 p.m.
Police shut down Highway 19 near the 30-mile marker during their investigation, and reported at 7:22 p.m. that the highway was reopened.
During the investigation, police rerouted traffic onto Old Mamalahoa Highway in Ookala.