On Saturday, June 16, 2018 at about 4:30 a.m., a male operator, and his female passenger were riding a moped northbound on Puunene Avenue near the intersection of Airport Access Road in Kahului when it was struck from behind by a silver 2006 Toyota sedan.
The female passenger was ejected while the Toyota sedan continued to push the moped and the male operator along Puunene Avenue before the moped came to rest north of Puukani Street. The
Toyota sedan fled the scene before police got there.
The male operator was pronounced dead at the scene. The female passenger was transported to the Maui Memorial Medical Center emergency room with serious injuries.
The Toyota sedan was later located by police parked unattended in front of a nearby residence in Kahului. The operator of the Toyota sedan has yet to be identified.
The male operator was identified as 36-year-old Joey Ruiz of Kahului. The passenger was a 19-year-old female from Kahului.
The roadway was closed for about nine hours while police conducted their investigation.
Follow-up investigation was conducted where a 35-year old male from Kahului, who is suspected of operating the Toyota sedan, was later arrested. The vehicle involved was recovered as evidence.
The involvement of speed, drugs, and alcohol are still pending as the investigation is ongoing.
This is Maui County’s fourth traffic fatality for 2018 as compared to three the same time last year.