Papaaloa Traffic Crash Claims a Life

A 37-year-old Papaaloa woman died following a two-vehicle crash Saturday afternoon in Paauilo. She has been identified as Lori Ann Sato.

Responding to a 3:58 p.m., call, Hawai`i Police Department officers determined that a 2004 Honda sedan was traveling northbound on Highway 19, near the 34-mile marker, overtaking a vehicle in a no passing zone and was broadsided by a 1999 Toyota pickup that was traveling southbound.

Sato was taken to the Hilo Medical Center where she was pronounced dead at 8:10 p.m.

The front seat passenger of the Toyota pickup, a 21-year old Pepeʻekeo man, was transported by medics to the North Hawaiʻi Community Hospital in stable condition for treatment of his injuries. He was later released.

The driver of the Toyota pickup, a 20-year old Pepeʻekeo man, was not injured.

The driver of the Honda was not wearing a seatbelt. Both occupants of the Toyota were wearing seatbelts.

It is unknown at this time if alcohol was a factor in this crash, but speed does appear to be a factor.

An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.

Police ask anyone who witnessed the crash to call Officer Erhard Autrata at (808) 961-2339 or email at Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers at (808) 961-8300.

This is the 30th traffic fatality this year compared with 30 at this time last year.