Two women killed in North Kona crash, three remain hospitalized

  • Two women were killed and three people remain hospitalized following a two-car crash Friday afternoon on Palani Road. (Tiffany DeMasters/West Hawaii Today)

KAILUA-KONA — Two Japanese visitors died in a two-vehicle crash Friday afternoon on Palani Road near the intersection with Laimana Street.

The women have been identified as Takako Oikawa, 70, of Kanagawa, Japan, and Michiko Ono, 69, of Tokyo, according to the Hawaii Police Department.

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Responding to a 4:33 p.m. call, police determined a white 2016 Nissan sedan operated by a 69-year-old Japanese man had been traveling west on Palani Road when the vehicle crossed over the centerline and was involved in a head-on collision with a silver 2018 GMC pickup truck operated by a 32-year-old Kailua-Kona man.

Oikawa and Ono suffered critical injuries and were both transported to Kona Community Hospital where they later died.

The operator of the Nissan and his male passenger were also transported to the Kona Community Hospital for treatment of injuries suffered in the crash. As of Sunday, they remained hospitalized in serious condition.

The operator of the GMC pickup truck was also transported to the Kona Community Hospital for treatment for his injuries. He remains confined to the hospital in guarded condition.

Police believe inattention was a factor in the crash, but it is not immediately known if alcohol was a factor.

Autopsies have been ordered to determine the exact causes of death.

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The Traffic Enforcement Unit has initiated negligent homicide investigations and is asking for anyone who may have witnessed the accident to contact Officer Justin Hooser at 326-4646, ext. 229. Those who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300.

These are the 13th and 14th traffic fatalities on Hawaii Island public roads this year compared to 18 at this time last year, according to police.

  1. Kaipo Wall June 2, 2018 9:41 am

    Some of the time these Asian visitors take off driving on the wrong side of the road . It is assumed that when they come here they are competent drivers . No one checks , they just rent them the car and off they go


    1. Irym Ydell June 2, 2018 12:01 pm

      We followed them from Waimea. They drove just fine until that moment where they just drifted for a split second.


    2. The Ydell June 2, 2018 1:43 pm

      They were driving perfectly fine. We were directly behind them for a very long time. It was a split second of just… he veered over & didn’t come back into our lane. Like someone looking at a phone or a map & when they look up, they usually jerk back to their lane, but he didn’t.


      1. Izumi_Oikawa June 12, 2018 12:08 am

        I am Izumi Oikawa who is the daughter of Takako Oikawa(victim of this car crash).
        I really appreciate you that you helped my mother and father right after this incident.
        My father and uncle had left from the hospital, but still hard to walk.

        Currently, we are handling this accident at Hawaii Island.
        All of my family members are very sad and confused by this sudden tragedy accident.

        We are looking for the truth of how our mothers had passed, but there are very few information from the local police department.
        We have to leave from Hawaii on Friday, 15th.
        If possible, we would like to hear about this accident from you.
        I will leave my e-mail address here, so please please contact me and help us.

        My e-mail address: oti11996@yahoo.co.jp

        I am waiting for your contact.

        By the way, we are staying at Kona area right now.

        Sincerely,


    3. Richard Bonafont June 4, 2018 8:35 am

      The assertion “no one checks” is absurd. Of COURSE they are checked. Japanese residents have qualified to drive to much more stringent standards than the US.


  2. Pest Outwest June 2, 2018 10:15 am

    That’s kind of weird, the wreck doesn’t look that bad. No safety belts in the back seat maybe? That’s the kind of accident everyone is suppose to walk away from these days.

    Anyway, I drive a silver pickup too, so this is a good reminder. Always drive like other people are trying to kill you.


    1. Irym Ydell June 2, 2018 12:00 pm

      we were the car directly behind them. We didn’t think it was that bad either. I don’t know about seat belt because I was on the phone with 911 & an off duty nurse was with the people in the car.


    2. The Ydell June 2, 2018 1:40 pm

      It was one person in the back who died & one in the front. The whole front of the car was smashed in to the people in the front. The people in the back, I’m not sure why the woman died. She looked ok at first glance, but the man was thrown from the back to the front & the whole back seat on his side had detached from the frame of the car.


  3. The Ydell June 2, 2018 1:54 pm

    This makes me so sad to read. I was with one of the women for awhile until help arrived. I’m sad to hear she passed. I hope the others will be ok eventually, but I doubt they will update this story much further, so I will probably never know.

    The police have all our information, we were told they’d call if they need further information so I am not sure if we need to call or just wait?


    1. ypupule June 3, 2018 9:25 am

      God bless you for providing help and comfort to the victims.


    2. Izumi_Oikawa June 12, 2018 12:09 am

      .
      I am Izumi Oikawa who is the daughter of Takako Oikawa(victim of this car crash).
      I really appreciate you that you helped my mother and father right after this incident.
      My father and uncle had left from the hospital, but still hard to walk.

      Currently, we are handling this accident at Hawaii Island.
      All of my family members are very sad and confused by this sudden tragedy accident.

      We are looking for the truth of how our mothers had passed, but there are very few information from the local police department.
      We have to leave from Hawaii on Friday, 15th.
      If possible, we would like to hear about this accident from you.
      I will leave my e-mail address here, so please please contact me and help us.

      My e-mail address: oti11996@yahoo.co.jp

      I am waiting for your contact.

      By the way, we are staying at Kona area right now.

      Sincerely,


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