National News

Lava quickly swallowed his Ford Mustang. But he's more upset about his destroyed R2-D2 mailbox

Posted May 10, 2018 5:12 p.m. EDT

— The red-and-black lava slowly slithered across the road in the Leilani Estates community on Hawaii's Big Island consuming anything that stood in it's way - including a Ford Mustang parked on the side of the street.

You've seen it happen, thanks to a video by storm chaser Brandon Clement that's been widely shared.

But the owner of the car, Michael Hale, wasn't as upset to see the car destroyed as he was to see his Star Wars R2-D2 mailbox gobbled whole by the lava.

The homemade mailbox that stood next to the car was a special gift that his daughter gave him.

"It was a really special Christmas morning for me," he said. "It's something personal she gave me."

In the process of evacuating the area, Hale, who owns a small rental car company, took several trips to his home to remove vehicles but left behind the Mustang since it wouldn't start.

"Here's the funny thing about that car,' he said "It was stolen four times. Each time there'd be a little bit of damage they did and I'd fix it up."

Hale was able to return to the area briefly to check on his home, but he found the lava had inundated his home and destroyed it.

"It was unreal and kind of like crazy... A nightmare I can't wake up from,' he said. "But at the same time I'm safe. My kids are safe."