Elderly Woman Dies in Pahala Single Vehicle Crash

An 84-year-old Pāhala woman died following a single-vehicle crash on Monday afternoon.

Hawai`i Police Department officials say the incident happened on Highway 11 near the 51-mile marker in Pāhala.

The woman has been identified as Julia Gonzaga

Responding to a 12:29 p.m. call, police determined that a 2012 Mazda minivan operated by an 84-year-old Pāhala man had been traveling south on Highway 11 near the 51-mile marker, when the van ran off the west shoulder of the road and struck a rock embankment.

After the initial impact the van veered across the highway and struck another rock embankment on the east shoulder.

From the collision, the front seat passenger, Gonzaga, sustained critical injuries.

Gonzaga was taken to the Hilo Medical Center where she was pronounced dead at 2:08 p.m

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

The Traffic Enforcement Unit has initiated a Negligent Homicide investigation and is asking for anyone who may have witnessed the accident to contact Officer Justin Hooser at (808) 326-4646 ext. 229. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo.

This is the 12  traffic fatality this year compared to seventeen at this time last year.