A 45-year-old Kailua-Kona man died following a four-vehicle crash Monday in North Kona near the 18-mile marker of the Māmalahoa Highway Route 190.
The Hawai`i Police Department says the man has been identified as Gerald Wahinekapu.
Responding to a 6:43 a.m. call, police determined that a 2004 Ford pickup truck operated by Wahinekapu had been traveling south on Māmalahoa Highway Route 190 near the 18-mile marker when he crossed over the centerline of the roadway and sideswiped a 2002 Ford pickup truck operated by an 18-year-old Kailua-Kona man, which had been traveling north.
Wahinekapu’s vehicle continued south in the oncoming lane and collided head-on with a 2015 Ram pick-up truck operated by a 32-year-old Kailua-Kona man, which had been traveling north.
A 2018 Dodge SUV, operated by a 36-year-old Virginia man, sustained damages from the debris caused by the collision between the Ford and Ram pickup trucks.
Authorities say the collision caused Wahinekapu to sustain critical injuries and he was later pronounced dead at the Kona Community Hospital at 11:45 a.m.
The operator of the Ford pickup truck sustained minor injuries and was treated and released from the North Hawai`i Community Hospital.
The occupant of the Ford pickup truck sustained minor injuries and was treated and released from the scene.
The operator and occupants of the Ram pick-up truck sustained minor injuries were treated and released from the scene.
The operator of the Dodge SUV did not sustain any injuries.
Police believe inattention was a factor in this crash, but it is not immediately known if alcohol involved.
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 contact Officer Kimo Keliipaakaua at (808) 326-4646 ext. 229.
This is the 18th traffic fatality this year compared with 20 at this time last year.