UPDATE: Head-On Collision Near Pahala Claims Five Lives

January 23, 2013, 12:02 PM HST (Updated January 24, 2013, 11:30 AM)

***Updated Jan. 24 to correct number of fatalities in 2012.***

Five  people died as a result of a head-on collision this morning involving a large pickup truck and a sedan on Highway 11 near Pahala.

Police said a 2012 Nissan four-door sedan was traveling south near the Punalu`u Bridge when it swerved across the center line and crashed into a north-bound 2002 Ford F350 pickup truck.

The collision, which occurred shortly after 10 a.m., caused the truck to overturn and catch on fire.

A man and a woman in the truck died at the scene, as did the man driving the Nissan and a male passenger.

A boy riding in the Nissan was taken to Ka`u Hospital and then transported by helicopter to Kona Community Hospital where he later died.

None of the victims has been identified.

Modified Google Maps image. Big Island Now graphic.

Modified Google Maps image. Big Island Now graphic.


Highway 11 was closed near the 54-mile marker as an investigation was conducted, disrupting traffic through Ka`u for nearly six hours.

The highway was reopened at about 4 p.m.

According to a statement from the fire department, at least one of the vehicles was believed to have been traveling at high speed prior to the collision.

The crash occurred about 2½ miles south of Pahala.

The fatalities brought the island’s traffic death toll to seven for the year, compared to none at this time in 2012.

***Previously updated at 5:30 p.m., 2:15 p.m. and 1 p.m. on Jan. 23.***



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