Water Tanker Flips at Kona Airport Killing Driver

Media Release:

A 36-year-old Hōnaunau man was killed Monday (June 27) from injuries he sustained in a one-vehicle crash at Keahole International Airport in Kailua-Kona.

The victim was identified as Newton K. Leslie of a Honaunau address.

Responding to an 11:35 a.m. call, Kona patrol officers determined that the victim was operating a 2001 Sterling water tanker and traveling north on Perimeter Road when he lost control on a curve in the roadway and overturned.

The driver, who was not wearing a seatbelt was partially ejected from the passenger door window and was pinned under the vehicle.

The tanker had a full load of water and belonged to a local construction company that is doing work at the airport.

The victim was taken to Kona Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 3:01 p.m.

Police believe that speed was a factor in the crash.

Traffic Enforcement Unit officers have initiated a coroner’s inquest case and have ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.

Being that this death occurred within Keahole International Airport on a road not open to the public, it is not counted toward the official traffic fatality count.

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