Responding to a 7:18 p.m. call Friday, police determined that a 2003 Kia four-door sedan operated by Yoshitaro had been traveling north on Highway 11 near the 96-mile marker when it crossed left of center on the roadway and collided head-on with a 2003 Nissan pickup truck that was traveling south. The occupants of the Nissan, a 66-year-old man and a 63-year-old woman, both of Oceanview, were taken to Kona Community Hospital for treatment of their injuries. Yoshitaro was also taken to Kona Community Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 11:55 p.m. Friday.
Police believe speed and inattention were factors in the crash.
An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.
The Traffic Enforcement Unit has initiated a coroner’s inquest investigation and is asking for anyone who may have witnessed the accident to call Officer Christopher Kapua-Allison at 326-4646, extension 229. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo.
This is the second traffic fatality this year compared with none at this time last year.