Man killed in single-vehicle crash in Puna

An unidentified man died following a single-vehicle crash Saturday afternoon in the Hawaiian Paradise Park subdivision of Puna.

Officers responding to the 4:16 p.m. report of a crash at the intersection of Makuu Drive and 2nd Avenue determined that a 2020 Jeep Wrangler, with a removable top, was traveling east (makai) on Makuu Drive at a high rate of speed when it crossed the center line at the 2nd Avenue intersection and struck a utility pole on the west bound shoulder, according to the Hawaii Police Department. The operator was ejected from the Jeep as it flipped and came to a rest on its roof.

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The driver, who was the sole occupant of the Jeep, has not been identified. He was unresponsive at the scene and transported to Hilo Medical Center where he was pronounced dead at 7:05 p.m. An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.

Police investigating the traffic collision have determined that speed was a factor in this traffic collision and that the driver was not wearing a seat belt. At this time, police have not determined if alcohol or drugs were factors in the collision.

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This is the first fatal traffic collision of 2021 compared to one fatal traffic collision during this time last year.

The East Hawaii Traffic Enforcement Unit has initiated a coroner’s inquest investigation. Anyone who may have witnessed the crash or who has information shuld contact Officer Blayne Matsui at (808) 961-2339 or via email Blayne.Matsui@HawaiiCounty.gov.

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