Baby From Japan Dies in Car Crash on Hawaii Belt Road

A 6-month-old boy from Japan died Thursday (February 23) from injuries he received in a one-vehicle crash on Hawaiʻi Belt Road (Route 11), .3 miles northeast of the 48-mile marker in the Kapapala area of the Kaʻū District.

The victim was identified as Yuta Suzuki of Shiyonawate, Japan.

Responding to a 5:10 p.m. call, Kaʻū patrol officers determined that the father of the boy, a 36-year-old man from Japan, had been operating a 2011 Dodge van and traveling south on Hawaiʻi Belt Road when he ran off the right side of the road and overturned.

The driver and two passengers, a 37-year-old man and a 39-year-old woman, were taken to the Ka’u Hospital.  The driver and the male passenger were treated and released with minor injuries.  The woman was later transferred to Hilo Medical Center for further evaluation.

Fire/Rescue personnel took the 6-month-old boy, his  28-year-old mother, a 30-year-old female passenger and another female passenger, age unknown, to Hilo Medical Center.

The baby was pronounced dead at 7:55 p.m. at Hilo Medical Center.

The mother was treated and released. The the other two women were confined in serious condition.

All the adults were wearing their seat belts.  The baby was not in his car seat at the time of the crash.

Traffic Enforcement Unit officers have initiated a negligent homicide investigation and have ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.

This is the third traffic fatality on the Big Island this year compared with five at this time last year.

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