Three people died in a traffic crash this morning in Kailua-Kona. The accident occurred north of the 92 mile marker of the Queen Kaʻahumanu Highway.
Hawai`i Police Department officials say the their names are being withheld pending positive identification and notification of next of kin.
Responding to a 6:26 a.m. call, HPD determined that a 1998 Toyota 4Runner operated by an unidentified male party had been passing several vehicles as he traveled North on the Queen Kaʻahumanu Highway, and as he completed his pass the operator lost control of his vehicle which caused it to veer back into the oncoming (Southbound) lane where it was then involved in a broadside collision with a 2008 Nissan Titan operated by a 37-year-old Kamuela man.
A 32-year-old female passenger of the Nissan Titan was taken to the Kona Community Hospital for treatment of her injuries of which she is currently in critical condition.
The driver and passenger of the Toyota 4Runner, and the driver of the Nissan Titan were all taken to the Kona Community Hospital where they were pronounced dead on at 12:20 p.m, 12:21 p.m, and 12:22 p.m respectively.
Police believe speed was a factor in the crash. According to authorities, it was not immediately known if alcohol was a factor.
Autopsies have been order to determine the exact cause of death and to identify the parties.
The Traffic Enforcement Unit has initiated a negligent homicide investigation and is asking for anyone who may have witnessed the accident to contact Officer Kimo Keliipaakaua at 326-4646 ext. 229.
Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo.
This is the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth traffic fatalities this year compared to ten at this time last year.