A 73-year-old Hilo man has died following a two-vehicle collision on Wednesday morning at the Komohana and Kukuau Street Intersection.
Police responded to a 4:52 a.m. traffic collision and determined that a 1983 Jeep Wrangler soft top with removable doors was traveling east on Kukuau Street when it failed to stop at a stop sign and was struck broadside by a 2004 Dodge Ram truck that was traveling south on Komohana Street.
The driver of the Jeep Wrangler has been identified as Soo Lee, a 73-year-old male from Hilo. He was unresponsive at the scene and later transported to Hilo Medical Center where he was pronounced dead at 6:51 a.m. An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.
His passenger, a 29-year-old male from Hilo, was transported to Hilo Medical Center for non-life threatening injuries and is listed in stable condition.
The driver of the Dodge Ram truck, a 34-year-old male from Hilo, was not injured. His passenger, a 75-year-old male from Hilo, was transported to Hilo Medical Center for treatment and was later released.
Police investigating the traffic collision have determined that inattention to driving is a factor in this traffic collision. Police do not believe that alcohol or drugs are factors at this time.
This is the 14th fatal traffic collision compared to 18 fatal traffic collisions during this same time period last year.
The East Hawaiʻi Traffic Enforcement Unit has initiated a Coroner’s Inquest investigation. Police are asking for anyone who may have witnessed the accident or has information to contact Officer Jared Cabatu at (808) 961-2329 or via email at Jared.Cabatu@hawaiicounty.gov.
Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the island-wide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.00. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers does not record calls or subscribe to any Caller ID service. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.