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Pāhoa Man Killed in Single-Vehicle Crash in Puna

by Thunda

Hawai‘i Island police are investigating a single-vehicle collision that occurred on Sunday evening, February 26, 2023, on Highway 137 near the 13 mile-marker in Pāhoa that left one man dead.

Responding to the reported traffic collision at 7:37 p.m. on Sunday, Puna patrol officers determined that a male operator and female passenger were occupants of a 2005 Nissan Frontier pickup truck traveling south on Highway 137, in Pāhoa, when it veered off into the right shoulder and struck an embankment, sending the vehicle airborne. The vehicle then struck a nearby tree before coming to a rest.

The driver, a 41-year-old Pāhoa man, was unresponsive at the scene. He was transported to the Hilo Medical Center where he was later pronounced dead at 11:58 p.m. that evening. An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.

The driver’s identify is being withheld at this time pending positive identification and notification of the family.

The passenger, a 44-year-old woman from Pahoa, sustained minor injuries as a result of the collision and was transported to Hilo Medical Center for further treatment.

At this time, police believe that speed and inattention are contributing factors to this collision.

The East Hawaii Traffic Enforcement Unit has initiated a coroner’s inquest and is continuing their investigation into this traffic collision. Police are asking for anyone who may have witnessed the collision or who has information about it, to contact Officer Clifford Antonio at (808) 961-2339 or via email at Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers islandwide at (808) 961-8300.

This is the fifth fatal traffic collision of 2023 compared to eight fatal traffic collisions during this same time period last year.

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