Unidentified Man Dies as Result of Route 11 Crash

An unidentified man died in a two-vehicle crash early Wednesday morning, Nov. 8, 2017, in Kaʻū near the 46-mile marker of the Māmalahoa Highway Route 11.

Photo via Gail Heidenfeldt-Gali

His name is being withheld pending positive identification.

Responding to a 3:39 a.m. call, police determined that a 1999 Plymouth sedan operated by the unidentified male party had been traveling south on the Māmalahoa Highway when it crossed over the center line of the roadway and was involved in a head-on collision with a 2013 Isuzu cargo van operated by a 55-year-old Mountain View man.

The collision caused the Plymouth sedan to be fully engulfed by fire, which was extinguished by the Hawaiʻi Fire Department.

The unidentified driver of the Plymouth sedan was taken to the Hilo Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 8:40 a.m.

The driver of the Isuzu cargo van was also taken to the Hilo Medical Center where he was treated for his injuries sustained in the collision. He is in stable condition.

Police believe speed was a factor in the crash but is not immediately known if alcohol was a factor.

An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death and to identify the male party.

The Traffic Enforcement Unit has initiated a coroner’s inquest investigation and is asking for anyone who may have witnessed the accident to contact Officer Christopher Kapua-Allison at (808) 326-4646, ext. 229.

This is the 29th traffic fatality this year compared to 28 at this time last year.

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Hawaii Police Department Backpack Drive Update

The Hawaiʻi Police Department is pleased to announce that families throughout the island donated 135 backpacks for children in need during a backpack drive between July and September.

During the backpack drive, all police stations around the island doubled as drop-off points. This was the third consecutive year the Police Department worked in partnership with HOPE Services Hawaiʻi (formerly known as the Office of Social Ministry) and From Kids For Kids in the collection and distribution of these items.

Backpacks have been identified as the most requested non-food item for charities in Hawaiʻi. The donated backpacks are being distributed to children at women’s shelters, homeless shelters and transitional housing facilities around the Big Island.

In addition to the backpacks, thoughtful citizens donated the following items for families that might not have the means to purchase them for their school-age children:

47 boxes of crayons
44 composition tablets
8 boxes colored markers
8 boxes colored pencils
32 boxes of pencils
50 spiral notebooks
57 folders
26 binders
25 erasers
19 scissors
16 bottles of glue
14 packs of binder paper

Police Chief Kubojiri said he is grateful for the community’s participation. “It is heartening to see the outpouring of compassion, even during these hard economic times,” Kubojiri said. “You have proven that the aloha spirit is alive and well when it comes to opening our hearts and lending a helping hand.”

Hope Services Hawaiʻi provides a continuum of homeless and transitional programs from outreach to emergency shelters, including permanent supportive housing placements.

From Kids For Kids was founded in 2006 by Big Island resident Nani Welch-Keliihoomalu, then 10, who was responsible for distributing backpacks containing books, clothing, art and school supplies.