Mauna Kea Claims Another…

The mountain claimed another vehicle this afternoon.

A rented Nissan Altima parked at the Hoku Kea telescope rolled off the ridge, a steep cinder slope about 400ft high. Fortunately neither passenger was hurt, the woman in the passenger seat exited the vehicle when it began rolling, her companion was already out. Witnesses describe the vehicle rolling several times as it descended the slope.

Now the Mauna Kea Rangers have the unenviable task of removing the vehicle and cleaning up the mess. The rangers report indicates that the vehicle does not appear to be leaking any fluids. Hopefully the vehicle can be removed without further damage to the summit. OMKM’s Natural Resources Manager and an entomologist are being consulted before removal.

Just another reminder to take our mountain seriously…

Mauna Kea Wreck
Wreck of a Nissan Altima that rolled off the summit ridge of Mauna Kea, photo by Shane Fox, used with permission
Mauna Kea Wreck
Location of a vehicle that rolled off the summit ridge of Mauna Kea, photo by Shane Fox, used with permission

Author: Andrew

An electrical engineer, amateur astronomer, and diver, living and working on the island of Hawaiʻi.

3 thoughts on “Mauna Kea Claims Another…”

  1. Thanks for this, Andrew. I saw reports this evening from our own operators about a vehicle that had rolled down from the ridge but couldn’t quite figure out where the car was. This makes it rather obvious.

  2. Will add that there was also an incident over the weekend involving several MK observatory vehicles. To save embarrassment I won’t mention the observatory (it wasn’t yours!) but several cars went out of control in icy conditions. I’m sure you are aware of this.

  3. Yup, I have photos of that one as well. How do you get four vehicles stuck!?!? Somebody needs to schedule winter driving lessons for those guys!

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