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Kauai man arrested after felling tree that damaged 2 trucks

  • A pickup truck traveling on Kamualii Highway in Omao was damaged by a falling pine tree.(Courtesy Kauai County)

A 43-year-old Koloa man was arrested Wednesday after a pine tree he cut down landed on a pickup truck traveling along Kaumualii Highway in Omao, Kauai.

A police officer happened to be driving along the highway about 1:30 p.m. when he came upon the scene in the vicinity of Kahili Mountain Park.

According to a preliminary police report, the suspect was hired by a private property owner to cut down a large pine tree on the lot, which borders the park-side of Kaumualii Highway. The tree fell across the highway and landed on a Dodge pickup truck in the eastbound lane, smashing the roof and bed of the truck and injuring the driver, police said. 

The woman, 64, also of Koloa, was transported to Wilcox Hospital with a possible neck injury and later released.

Another pickup, also heading east, sustained major front-end damage when it collided with the fallen tree. The 39-year-old operator of that truck was not injured.

The man was arrested on suspiciion of second-degree reckless endangering and transported to police cellblock. He was booked and released pending an initial court appearance.

Kaumualii Highway was closed for about an hour while crews cleared the roadway. During the closure, westbound traffic was rerouted to Maluhia Road while eastbound traffic was directed onto Omao Road.

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