Monday, March 04, 2024|
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Gov. Josh Green (wearing blue jeans) helps responders walk a man to an ambulance after he being pulled from an overturned vehicle this morning.
Gov. Josh Green, left of the man in yellow, helps others assist a man whose vehicle overturned this morning off Waikoloa Road.
Quite by accident, Gov. Josh Green found himself in a familiar position this morning — as a medical doctor dealing with an emergency situation in West Hawaii.
Green, for years an emergency room physician on the Big Island, was en route to the dedication of the AES Waikoloa Solar + Storage energy project from Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport between 9:30 and 10 a.m. when his motorcade was heading mauka on Waikoloa Road and encountered a blue van that had crashed and rolled over into a gulch.
“The accident had just occurred, a pretty terrible crash, maybe a minute or two before we got there,” Green told the Tribune-Herald. “A gentleman, as we now know, had weaved right coming down the hill, and he was going to hit somebody. So, he overcompensated, kind of lurched to the left and went up one of those a‘a ramps, kind of, you know, that exist by the side of the road. And his car just kind of got launched into the air, flipped over and crashed into the gulch on the side of the road.”
According to Green, a witness who had seen the crash told him the vehicle “was launched 50, 60 feet up into the air — which seems actually believable, the way he ended up in that ditch.”
Green said the man was “trapped upside down” within the van, and the governor and other Good Samaritans went down the embankment to the crash site.
“We cut his seat belt out, so he was able to come out from being hung upside down,” Green said. “I went partially through a window to see if he was OK. And there was a medic or paramedic, off duty, who went through the side window and was able to kick out the front (windshield) and pull him out.
“Of course, we called 911 immediately and, you know, the medics came quickly, maybe in about 10 minutes or so. And we were able to get him up out of the gulch and put him into the ambulance.”
Green described the scene as “pretty shocking.”
“It was an incredible crash. There was a lot of gasoline on the scene, which was one of the biggest worries,” he said.
Green said the man was “pretty staggered” by the impact of the crash but didn’t lose consciousness.
Green said he’s “so grateful” the man is alive and that numerous Good Samaritans came to the man’s rescue “because that’s what people do in Hawaii.”
“He had some cuts and lots of bruises, and did not seem to have any severe neurologic injuries. I checked him quickly for that, and off he went to the hospital,” he said. “He’ll be fine, but I’m actually surprised he’s alive.
“If he had not had a seat belt on, he absolutely would’ve died.”
Email John Burnett at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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