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Update on Tonight’s Saddle Road Accident at Intersection of Mauna Kea Access Road

Situation Found at Scene: Two car Motor Vehicle Accident involving an SUV and full size pick-up truck.  Accident occurred as the SUV was traveling north crossing Saddle Road and was broadsided by the pick up truck that was traveling east on Saddle Rd.

Cause: Under investigation

Remarks: The driver of the truck was uninjured and refused treatment at the scene.  The driver and passenger of the SUV were transported to Hilo Medical Center, in serious condition, by Medic 3 and Chopper 2.  Saddle Road was closed for approximately one hour during the incident.

Tourist from France Dies on Mauna Kea Access Road

An unidentified woman died following a one-vehicle crash Sunday night (March 12) on Mauna Kea Access Road.

Her name is being withheld pending positive identification and notification of her family.

Responding to the 7:30 p.m. traffic crash, Hilo Patrol Officer’s determined that a 2001 Nissan sports-utility vehicle was traveling down Mauna Kea Access Road approximately 1.2 miles below the Visitor’s Center when the vehicle ran off the roadway and overturned several times.

The operator of the Nissan, the unidentified woman, was taken to the Hilo Medical Center where she was pronounced dead on March 13 at 12:29 a.m.

The front seat passenger, a 35-year old female of Lyon, France was also transported to the Hilo Medical Center in stable condition and later medevaced to Queen’s Medical Center on Oʻahu for treatment to her injuries.

Police have initiated a Coroner’s Inquest investigation and an autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.

Police believe that speed was a factor in this investigation.

This is the fifth traffic fatality this year compared with five at this time last year.

According to Doug Arnott of Arnott’s Lodge:

OMG…an associate just called and the two girls involved in the Mauna Kea crash were our guests at Arnotts…they had rented a camper truck with a structure on top that folds out. Tragically one was killed in the accident and one is in Queens…They asked about activities to do and I had suggested the Volcano Park and asked them if the truck had 4 wheel drive…they were from Lyon in France and had planned to visit Kauai after the Big Island…

Apparently police were on scene for a previous accident when this one happened literally in front of their eyes…previous reports of one accident above VIS and one below were wrong…both were at the sweeping right turn at the bottom of the very steep paved section immediately below the VIS.

Carjacking Suspect Jumps in Bushes Near Mauna Kea Access Road

Hawaiʻi Island police have set up a roadblock at the entrance to Mauna Kea Access Road off the Saddle Road and are limiting access to Mauna Kea Access Road. The road is closed to the public until further notice while police search for a suspect in a carjacking.

Mauna Kea Access Road

Mauna Kea Access Road

The car stolen in the carjacking incident has been located off the Mauna Kea Access Road. The suspect, 31-year-old Todd Rios (corrected age),was seen fleeing into the brush. Police are searching the area with help from a county helicopter crew.

Jeremy Todd Rios

Jeremy Todd Rios

Police caution the public not to pick up hitchhikers on Saddle Road.

Rios is described as 5-foot-7, 170 pounds with brown hair, brown eyes and numerous tattoos, including one on his throat/neck area depicting brass knuckles. He may be in possession of a firearm.

Police ask anyone with information on his whereabouts to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.