The driver of the vehicle was identified as Dana M. Leoneza.
Responding to a 2:26 a.m. call, Kona patrol officers determined that Leoneza was operating a 1998 Subaru multi-purpose vehicle and traveling south on Hawaiʻi Belt Road (Route 11), when she failed to negotiate a curve in the road and struck a utility pole.
Fire/Rescue personnel took Leoneza and her passenger, a 25-year-old Kailua-Kona man, to Kona Community Hospital.
Leoneza was pronounced dead at 8:19 p.m.
The passenger was listed in serious condition and confined to the hospital.
Before her death, Leoneza was arrested at the hospital for operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant, negligent injury and promoting a dangerous drug in the third degree. Because she was confined to the hospital, she was released pending further investigation.
Speed and alcohol appear to be factors in this crash.
Traffic Enforcement Unit officers have initiated a coroner’s inquest case and have ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.
This is the second traffic fatality on the Big Island this year compared with five at this time last year.