January 7, 2024, 12:42 PM HST
A 31-year-old Maui man died in a single-vehicle collision on Sunday morning, Jan. 7, 2024, in Kailua-Kona on Hawaiʻi Island, police said.
Responding to a call at 4:35 a.m., police determined that a silver 2004 Nissan Frontier pickup was traveling south (makai) of the intersection of Hawai‘i Belt Road (Highway 190) and the Highway 180 junction, when it crossed over the double solid lines and struck a rock embankment. The pickup then overturned, struck a utility pole, and went down a 10-foot embankment, according to police reports.
Police say the driver, who was the only occupant in the vehicle, was transported to the Kona Community Hospital where he was later pronounced dead at 6:08 a.m.
Police believe that speed and impairment are possible factors in the crash. The driver was also not wearing a seatbelt, according to department reports.
Positive identification is pending notification of next of kin.
Hawai‘i Police Department’s Area II Traffic Enforcement Unit has initiated a coroner’s inquest investigation and is asking for anyone who may have witnessed the collision to contact Officer Dayson Taniguchi at 808-326-4646, ext. 229, or email at [email protected].
Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 808-961-8300.
This marks the first traffic fatality on Hawai‘i Island in 2024 compared to zero this time last year.