Two Dead in Crashes Thursday in West HawaiiJuly 13, 2012, 10:13 AM HST (Updated July 13, 2012, 10:14 AM)
Two people died and another was injured in two separate traffic incidents Thursday on West Hawai`i highways.
A three-car crash shortly before 4 p.m. on the Queen Ka`ahumanu Highway claimed the life of a 38-year-old Waimea man.
Police said Christopher Landers was driving north in the area of Kiholo Bay when his 2002 Ford Ranger pickup was struck by a southbound 2000 Ford F350 pickup truck driven by a 49-year-old Kailua-Kona man.
Police said the F350 pickup had a left tire blow out which caused him to cross the center line and sideswipe a northbound 2011 Nissan Altima. The pickup than continued in the northbound lane and struck Lander’s vehicle.
Landers, who was not wearing a seatbelt, had to be extricated from the vehicle with the Jaws of Life. He was taken to Kona Community Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 9:10 p.m.
The diver of the F350 was taken to North Hawai`i Community Hospital where he was treated for minor injuries and released. The 67-year-old woman driving the Nissan and her females passengers, ages 20, 38 and 44, all of Austin, Texas, were not injured.
The accident forced the temporary closure of Queen Ka`ahumanu Highway. Traffic was detoured to Highway 190 via Waikoloa Road and Kaiminani Drive.
Earlier in the afternoon, a 52-year-old Kailua-Kona man died from injuries sustained when his bicycle was struck by a 2003 Nissan Frontier pickup truck that had veered off the right side of the Akoni Pule Highway.
The bicyclist, identified as Jessie Taylor, was later pronounced dead at Kona Community Hospital.
Police said the driver of the pickup, a 16-year-old Hawi girl, apparently had fallen asleep. She and her passenger, her 45-year-old mother, were not injured in the incident reported to police at 1:18 p.m.
Autopsies have been ordered in each incident.
The fatalities raised the death toll on public Big Island roadways to 16 this year, compared to 12 at this time in 2011.