Waikoloa man dies in two-car crash

KAILUA-KONA — A 51-year-old Waikoloa man died following a two-vehicle collision Friday evening in Kailua-Kona.

The Hawaii Police Department on Monday identified him as Raymond Mata Jr.

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Responding to a 9:55 p.m. Friday call, police determined that a brown 2015 Toyota pickup truck being operated by a 38-year-old Keauhou woman was traveling southbound on Alii Drive when her pickup truck was rear-ended by a tan 1999 Toyota pickup truck being operated by Mata, who was also traveling southbound on Alii Drive, according to police.

The pickup truck being operated by Mata then struck head-on with a utility pole and stone wall, according to police. Mata was unresponsive on the scene and was later transported to Kona Community Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 1:21 a.m. Saturday.

Police believe that inattention and speed were factors in this collision, but it is not immediately known if alcohol was a factor.

An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.

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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 Justin Hooser at 326-4646 ext. 229.

This is the 24th traffic fatality this year compared with 26 at this time last year.