Hawai‘i police are investigating a traffic collision that occurred Saturday morning, January 14, 2023, in Kea‘au involving a vehicle and a pedestrian that left one man dead.
At 5:09 a.m. on Saturday, Puna patrol officers responded to a single-vehicle traffic collision on Highway 130, in the vicinity of the 3-mile marker, where the operator of the vehicle involved reported that something had struck her vehicle windshield and shattered it.
Hawai‘i Fire Department (HFD) personnel were the first to arrive on scene and observed an unresponsive male in the Hilo-bound lane with severe head and body trauma, approximately 300 feet north of where the involved vehicle was parked.
The male pedestrian, who appears to be in his 50s, was later transported to the Hilo Medical Center where he was pronounced dead at 8:53 a.m. The victim is unknown at this time, pending identification and notification of next of kin.
Police investigators determined that a blue Acura sedan was traveling Pāhoa bound in the Number 2 lane (right-hand lane) on Highway 130 when it struck the pedestrian, who was on foot in the vicinity between the Number 1 and Number 2 lane of the Pāhoa-bound section of the highway. It was noted that the pedestrian was wearing dark clothing and there were no roadway lights in the area.
The operator of the Acura, a 46-year-old female from Kea‘au, sustained minor injuries from the shattered windshield of her vehicle after the collision. Also in the vehicle were the driver’s three children—a minor and two adult children —who were not injured from the collision.
Police do not believe alcohol, drugs, speed, or inattention were factors in the crash.
An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.
The East Hawaii Traffic Enforcement Unit has initiated a coroner’s inquest investigation and will continue 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 Jerome Duarte at (808) 961-2339 or via email at Jerome.Duarte@HawaiiCounty.gov. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers islandwide at (808) 961-8300.
This is the second traffic fatality on island in the past 24 hours. It is the third fatal traffic collision of 2023 compared to two fatal traffic collisions during this same time period last year.