25-Year-Old Dies in Head-On Naalehu Collision

A 25-year-old Kailua-Kona man was involved in a two-vehicle traffic casualty on Monday morning on Highway 11 north of the 69 mile marker in Naalehu.

The Hawai`i Police Department has identified the man as Eric Figueroa.

At 9:56 a.m. call, police determined that a 2001 Honda motorcycle operated by Figueroa had been traveling south on Highway 11 when he failed to negotiate a right curve and crossed the center line and struck head on into a 2005 Jeep Wrangler operated by a 52-year-old female that was traveling north on Highway 11.

Following the collision the operator of the Jeep Wrangler was un-injured, but Figueroa was taken to the Kona Community Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 2:52 p.m.

Police believe that speed was a factor in the crash, and an autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.

The Traffic Enforcement Unit has initiated a Coroners Inquest investigation and is asking anyone who may have witnessed the accident to contact Officer Christopher Kapua-Allison at 326-4646 ext. 229.  Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo.

This is the 16th traffic fatality this year compared to ten at this time last year.