KAILUA-KONA — Speed is likely to have been a factor in a three-car crash Monday night on Queen Kaahumanu Highway that left a Holualoa woman dead, authorities said Tuesday.
The collision occurred Monday evening at mile marker 83, about one mile south of the Kiholo Bay Lookout. At approximately 10:39 p.m., Hawaii Police Department officers responded to the scene, where they encountered three vehicles involved in a crash.
Police say a 21-year-old Kailua-Kona man traveling south in a 2002 Volvo sedan was involved in a rear-end collision with a 41-year-old Holualoa woman also traveling south in a 2014 Volkswagen sedan.
Police say the collision caused the Volkswagen to spin and cross over into northbound traffic where the woman’s vehicle was rear-ended by a 31-year-old Kamuela man traveling north in a 2013 Honda sedan.
The woman, later identified as Trina Walker, was taken to Kona Community Hospital where she was pronounced dead at 2:57 a.m. Tuesday.
The two other motorists involved in the crash were also transported to area hospitals. The Kailua-Kona man is in stable condition at Kona Community Hospital. The Waimea man was taken to North Hawaii Community Hospital where he was treated for his injuries and released.
The highway was closed from Waikoloa Beach Drive to Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keahole at 11 p.m. Monday and didn’t reopen until about 2 a.m. Tuesday.
Police believe speed is a factor in the crash. Alcohol is not suspected.
Sgt. Bradley Freitas with the Traffic Enforcement Unit said vehicle speeds at the time of the crash are unknown at this time. He added that the lighting in that area is little to nonexistent. However, he’s not sure how much that played into the crash.
The speed limit on that stretch of highway is 55 mph. Freitas said speeding is prevalent in that area from the West Hawaii Sanitary Landfill, around mile marker 79, to the airport.
“That straightaway, just in my career, we’ve had many crashes,” he said.
Since speed is an issue, Freitas said police do conduct speed enforcement projects in the area at various times.
The Traffic Enforcement Unit has initiated a negligent homicide investigation. Anyone with information about the crash or who may have witnessed the incident should contact Officer Justin Hooser at 326-4646, ext. 229.