A 17-year-old boy from Hana died and his passenger escaped injury after their vehicle went off a cliff and fell 300 feet near Honomanu Bay in Keanae before bursting into flames early Thursday morning, Maui police said.
An 18-year-old man from Hana who was in the passenger seat was ejected from the car before it went off the cliff and survived, a Maui Fire Department spokesman said. He did not require medical attention and was able to climb up the cliff and call for help, police said.
The accident happened at about 12:28 a.m. on the Hana Highway about a mile north of mile post 15.
Police said a 1998 Toyota Rav 4, pulling a trailer was heading in the Kahului direction when it veered to the right and struck and went over a guardrail.
The Toyota fell about 300 feet onto lava rocks on the shoreline and burst into flames, police said.
Firefighters rappelled down the cliff to the vehicle and confirmed that the 17-year-old boy had died.
Firefighters waited until daylight to recover the body.
At 6:30 a.m., the Fire Department’s helicopter took the body to a landing zone at the Keanae Ball Park.
Neither the driver or passenger were wearing seat belts, police said.
Investigators are still trying to determine whether speed, drugs or alcohol were factors in the crash.
The accident marks the 10th traffic fatality on Maui this year, compared to four at the same time last year.