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Driver and passenger identified in fatal truck plunge off Hana Highway

A driver and her passenger died Saturday night in Hana, Maui, when their Toyota Tacoma truck fell 188 feet from a curve at Maliko gulch and landed on its roof, Maui police said.

The crash killed driver Breeze Kalalau, 23, of Hana, and her passenger Rhe-Zhene Puailihau, 21, of Kahului.

Police said Kalalau was driving the silver 2020 Toyota east on Hana Highway when she failed to negotiate a curve at Maliko gulch and headed off of the paved road onto a dirt overlook. The truck then went over a dirt embankment and fell down the cliff and ended up partially submerged.

Kalalau was wearing her seatbelt while Puailihau was not, police said.

Police are investigating whether speed, drugs or alcohol were factors.

The crash represents Maui County’s 18th and 19th fatality this year, compared to 16 at the same time last year

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