Bus stolen: Woman, 2 kids uninjured after minor collision

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KAILUA-KONA — A Hawaiian Paradise Park woman and her two young children were uninjured after being involved in a minor collision with a reportedly stolen Hele-On bus in Hilo Saturday afternoon.

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KAILUA-KONA — A Hawaiian Paradise Park woman and her two young children were uninjured after being involved in a minor collision with a reportedly stolen Hele-On bus in Hilo Saturday afternoon.

The bus was stolen at 4 a.m. from the county transit yard and found around 3:30 p.m. in the Puna District, Hawaii Police Dispatch confirmed. A person was in custody after the bus was located. It is unknown if anyone was arrested.

During the time it was out, the driver of the bus reportedly got into an accident with a passenger vehicle near the Home Depot. Kianee Lane was getting ready to turn onto Railroad Avenue to go to Target when she saw the bus about a football field in distance away.

When she made the left turn, Lane said, the driver appeared to have become angry.

“He got pissed and sped up,” she said. “I don’t know why he got so mad.”

Lane said the driver of the bus swerved behind her and flipped her the middle finger.

Eventually, Lane said, the driver went around her and into the opposite lane to pass her vehicle. It was as he was passing that he struck her car, breaking the driver sideview mirror, she said.

“The middle of the bus is what hit my window,” she said. “I didn’t want his back tire to hit my front tire so we swerved onto the grass. He just kept going like nothing was wrong.”

Lane said her 5-year-old was very scared.

“I was freaking out mostly because I had my kids in the car with me,” she added.

Since the incident was so upsetting, she had officers meet her at her home so she could file a police report. Aside from being shaken up, no one was injured.

The county bus system has been plagued with problems for several months. Mass Transit Administrator Tiffany Kai stepped down and Mayor Harry Kim brought in a retired U.S. Marine to whip the struggling Hele-On bus system into shape.

In an April 25 West Hawaii Today article, Kim said he started on a plan to fix problems plaguing the county bus system after getting a lot of complaints from riders. Issues included engine problems and other malfunctions.

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Problems also included a messy, disorganized transit yard.

The county recently acquired five retired buses from Honolulu, and it is working with the Department of Public Works to get the other buses repaired.

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