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H-1 truck crash bedevils drivers on Halloween

By Gordon Y.K. Pang

LAST UPDATED: 11:42 a.m. HST, Nov 1, 2012

A garbage truck slammed into the H-1 freeway median near the Kao­nohi overpass in Aiea on Wednesday afternoon, creating a nightmare from West Oahu to Kahala for motorists trying to get home or out for Halloween trick-or-treating.

The crash occurred at about 1:30 p.m. when a Rainbow Waste Service truck that was believed to be heading east into town on the freeway smashed into the median and hopped over the concrete medial barrier into the farthest left westbound lane.

Paramedics took a man in his 30s to a hospital in serious condition after the crash.

Police closed three eastbound lanes and two Ewa-bound lanes because of the crash. That had traffic backed up far into town, affecting even traffic trying to head east. Crews managed to dislodge and remove the garbage truck by about 5:30 p.m., but repairs continued on the Zipper Lane. Westbound lanes reopened at about 7 p.m., and eastbound lanes were cleared at about 7:45 p.m.

Caroline Sluyter, state Department of Transportation spokes­woman, said the Zipper Lane will be open during regular hours this morning.

Amy Hennessey, communications director at the nonprofit Ulu­pono Initiative, was among those who had her Halloween disrupted.

Scheduled to attend a meeting on Hawaii island this morning, she decided to fly over Wednesday night to spend time with her parents at their home in Hilo.

Stuck in traffic along Nim­itz Highway for nearly two hours trying to get from downtown to the airport, Hennessey changed her flight from 5 p.m. to 5:30 and then 6:30. Finally, stuck at Nim­itz and Lagoon Drive at 6 p.m., Hennessey was forced to settle for a flight out at 6:02 a.m. today. She waited out the traffic by having dinner at the strip mall on Paiea Street near the airport.

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