Two-car crash claims life of Kona woman, 63

A 63-year-old Kailua-Kona woman died following a two-vehicle collision Thursday at the intersection of Mamalahoa Highway and Akina Place in North Kona.

The victim was identified Friday morning by the Hawaii Police Department as Rhonda Dee Freedman.


Responding to a 9:18 p.m. call, police determined that a white 2019 Nissan Rogue operated by a 19-year-old Kailua-Kona man was heading south on Mamalahoa Highway when he crossed over the double solid yellow lines and struck head-on a white 2018 Nissan Versa operated by Freedman.

The 19-year-old driver of the Nissan Rogue and his 17-year-old female passenger were not injured in the collision. The 63-year-old female operator of the Nissan Versa was transported to the Kona Community Hospital where she was pronounced dead at 10:51 p.m.

Police arrested the 19-year-old on suspicion of operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant, negligent homicide, reckless endangering and reckless driving. The police department had not released the man’s name, which is public record, as of press-time.

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

Anyone who may have witnessed the collision should contact Officer Len Hamakado at (808) 326-4646, ext. 229, or email at Those who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at (808) 961-8300.

This is the 22nd traffic fatality this year compared to 12 at this time last year.