Police ID two victims in separate fatal crashes on Volcano Highway

HILO — Police have identified two people who died in separate traffic collisions on Volcano Highway (Route 11) in upper Puna.

A 45-year-old Hilo man identified by police as Francis B. Makaiwi was killed Tuesday night in a head-on collision near the 22-mile marker.

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Officers responding to a 9:25 p.m. call determined that Makaiwi was driving Hilo-bound in a 2003 Mazda passenger van when a Volcano-bound 2018 Alfa Romeo sport-utility vehicle crossed a double-solid yellow line and collided with Makaiwi’s van.

Makaiwi, who was unresponsive at the scene, was pronounced dead at 12:35 a.m. today at Hilo Medical Center.

The driver of the Alfa Romeo SUV, a 79-year-old Volcano man, is in stable condition at Hilo Medical Center, police said.

Police believe inattention and alcohol are factors in the crash and an autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.

Makaiwi’s death is the 25th official traffic fatality of the year compared to 31 at this time last year.

There also have been three road-related deaths on the Big Island this year that police don’t count toward the official total — one because an autopsy found the driver died of a medical condition, a second because an autopsy found the driver died of natural causes and a third because the collision occurred in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, which is not in Hawaii Police Department jurisdiction.

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Police also identified a woman killed in a head-on collision Dec. 11 near the 13-mile marker in Mountain View as 83-year-old Frances Souza of Volcano.

Negligent homicide investigations have been opened in both fatal crashes and witnesses to either collision are asked to contact the Hilo Traffic Enforcement Unit at 961-2339 or Crime Stoppers at 961-8300.

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