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Traffic accidents, early rush hour create New Year’s Eve angst

    A tan Ford pickup truck ended up on its side at the top of the H-1 airport off-ramp around noon today.

Motorists heading from Honolulu to West Oahu Wednesday afternoon found the going slower than usual, as several traffic accidents occurred and vehicles stalled on freeways within a two-hour period, according to the state Department of Transportation.

Traffic was also heavier than a usual Wednesday afternoon because of New Year’s Eve, officials said.

“A lot of people leave work early. Afternoon rush hour traffic starts after lunch time,” said state transportation spokesman Derrick Inoshita.

Radio personality Esme Infante sent a message through saying she needed to be at Mililani Town Center as a co-master of ceremonies and that west-bound freeway traffic was “horrendous” and backed up at Middle Street in Kalihi at 2 p.m. Wednesday.

Four motor vehicle accidents occurred west-bound on the H-1 and Moanalua freeways between 12:16 p.m. and 1:01 p.m. Wednesday, including a pickup truck that ended on its side on the H-1 viaduct near Honolulu International Airport, authorities said.

In addition, two vehicles stalled on the H-1 freeway.

Inoshita said the department did have a single right lane on the H-1 westbound between Waimalu and Waipahu closed for viaduct widening but reopened the right lane at 1:15 p.m. to reduce traffic.

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