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Kona Man Dies in Fireworks Incident

by Thunda

Hawaiʻi Island police have initiated a coroner’s inquest investigation after a 20-year-old Kailua-Kona man died following a fireworks incident on Tuesday evening, July 4, 2023.  

At 10:27 p.m. on July 4, Kona patrol officers and Hawai‘i Fire Department personnel responded to a report of a public accident, possibly illegal fireworks, in a retail parking lot in the 74-5400 block of Kamakaeha Avenue in Kailua-Kona. Upon arrival, officers located a young man, later identified as 20-year-old Glen John Nakata, lying on the ground with a substantial head injury.

Bystanders stated they saw Nakata holding a fireworks launcher above his head when the firework went off, sending the young man to the ground.

Nakata was transported by ambulance to the Kona Community Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead at 11:55 p.m. that evening.

Police have launched a coroner’s inquest investigation and have ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death. Police ask that anyone who witnessed this incident to please contact Officer Melani Cline at (808) 326-4646, ext. 253.

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