Police say they have arrested a 55-year-old man after he went past a traffic checkpoint and crashed his vehicle into hardened lava on Hawaii's Big Island
HONOLULU — The Latest on Hawaii's erupting Kilauea volcano (all times local):
Police say they have arrested a 55-year-old man after he went past a traffic checkpoint and crashed his vehicle into hardened lava on Hawaii's Big Island.
Police say in a statement that the man demanded passage through the checkpoint but was instructed by police to turn around Thursday night. The statement doesn't say how the man got past officers.
About an hour later, a resident brought him back to the checkpoint with injuries to his head and face.
The man told police he had smashed his truck into lava. Authorities searched the area and located his 1993 Toyota pickup on a rural highway.
He was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and cited for loitering or refusing to leave a designated evacuation zone.
An erupting volcano has been spouting lava, ash and rocks for nearly a month.
The company that owns a geothermal plant near Hawaii's erupting volcano says lava has burned down a substation and adjacent warehouse that stored a drilling rig at the complex.
Ormat Technologies also said in a release Thursday that the main access road to the plant has been covered by lava. The buildings were destroyed Wednesday.
Two geothermal wellheads at the plant were covered by lava on May 28.
Due to a fast-moving lava flow, authorities have issued mandatory orders for residents of Leilani Estates to evacuate by noon and those in Kapoho Beach and Vacationland to leave by 2 p.m. or risk being trapped and unreachable by emergency crews.
Kilauea has been spouting lava, ash, and rocks since May 3.