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Police: Speeding, Drugs May Be Factors in Fatal Kona Crash

January 15, 2013, 9:17 AM HST
* Updated January 15, 10:25 AM
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A 27-year-old Kona woman died following a crash early this morning in North Kona.

Police said a 2000 two-door Volkswagen sedan was traveling northbound on Mamalahoa Highway south of Pu`uanahulu.when it went out of control, crossed the centerline and struck a utility pole on the makai side of the roadway.

The incident reported at 1:15 a.m. occurred near the 27-mile marker on the highway, also known as Route 190.

Hannah Fergerstrom of Kailua-Kona, a passenger in the vehicle, was taken to Kona Community Hospital where she died at 5:45 a.m.

The driver, 34-year-old Randall Kawasaki of Waimea, was taken to North Hawaii Community Hospital.

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Police said Kawasaki was arrested for negligent homicide, manslaughter, driving under the influence of an intoxicant, promoting dangerous drugs, possession of drug paraphernalia and driving without insurance. He was released without charges pending further investigation.

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Police said they believe speed and drug use may have been factors in the crash.

They said neither of the vehicle’s occupants were wearing seat belts.

Route 190 was closed for several hours while police investigated the incident. One lane of travel was open this morning.

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This is the second traffic fatality on Big Island roadways this year compared to none at this time in 2012.

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