Big Island Man Dies in Crash in Hawaiian Ocean View Estates

A 20-year-old Kaʻū man died Sunday (July 13) from injuries he sustained in a single-vehicle crash late Friday on Hawaiʻi Belt Road and the junction with Ginger Blossom Lane in Hawaiian Ocean View Estates.

Austin Yurong

Austin Yurong

He has been identified as Austin L. Yurong of Hawaiian Ocean View Estates.

Responding to a 11:10 p.m. call Friday (July 11), Kaʻū Patrol officers determined that Yurong, who was the operator and sole occupant of a 1986 Toyota pickup truck, was traveling east on Hawaiʻi Belt Road (Route 11) between the 80- and 81-mile markers approaching the junction with Ginger Blossom Lane when he lost control and veered off the right shoulder, colliding with a lava embankment. The vehicle veered back into the southbound traffic lane and then back into the lava embankment, rolled twice and came to rest upright, straddling the center lane markings.

Yurong was ejected from the vehicle and found lying unconscious on the south shoulder. He was taken to Kona Community Hospital and later transferred to The Queen’s Medical Center on Oahu, where he was pronounced dead at 12:39 p.m. Sunday.

Hawaiʻi Belt Road was closed to all traffic from about 11:10 p.m. Friday to 1 a.m. Saturday.

Police believe that alcohol and speed may be contributing factors to this collision.

The Traffic Enforcement Unit has initiated a coroner’s inquest investigation and has ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.

Police ask anyone who witnessed the collision to call Officer Larry Flowers at 326-4646, extension 229.

This is the 8th fatality this year compared with 17 at this time last year.

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