A fatal traffic collision shut down the Pali Highway for several hours Thursday morning.
According to Honolulu police, just before 9 a.m., a flatbed tow truck owned by Windward Side Recovery and Trucking was heading Honolulu bound on the Pali when the driver made a U-turn.
Police said the elderly driver in the Toyota Yaris slammed into the back of the tow truck, shearing off the top of the car.
The impact caused the car to spin out and stopped on the opposite side of the highway.
The driver, in his 80s, who has a Honolulu address was pronounced dead at the scene. His passenger, a woman, also in her 80s, who is possibly his wife, was taken to The Queen's Medical Center in critical condition.
"They may not have seen it. I can’t speak for them, but at this point, they just may not have seen the tow truck sticking out into the roadway," said Lt. Bobby Towne, of the HPD Traffic Homicide Division.
The U-turn is legal for all vehicles.
But following the crash, the police department put in a request to have the Department of Transportation designate the U-turn for emergency vehicles only, considering the narrow width of the U-turn and its close proximity to the tunnel.
Certain approvals must be made before a change is made and signs are installed, but it's too late this time.