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.

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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 len.hamakado@hawaiicounty.gov. 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.