Man Dies, Several Injured in Early Saturday Vehicle Crash
A single-vehicle accident early Saturday morning resulted in the death of an 18-year-old Puna man.
The Hawai’i Police Department reports that the incident occurred on Highway 11, near the nine-mile marker in Kea’au.
HPD identified the victim as Albert Gonsalves of Kea’au. He was a passenger in the vehicle.
Puna patrol officers responded to a 3:59 a.m. call, where they learned that an 18-year-old Kea’au man was operating a 2011 Toyota four door sedan, traveling north on Highway 11. The driver crossed the center line, ran off the road, and collided with a utility pole and fence.
The driver, along with two 18-year-old passengers, were transported to Hilo Medical Center by Hawai’i County Fire Department rescue personnel. One of the passengers was flown to The Queen’s Medical Center, and the other went into surgery. The vehicle’s driver was admitted with internal injuries.
According to police, Gonsalves was also taken to HMC, where he was pronounced dead at 7:08 a.m.
The four occupants were not wearing their seat belts, according to authorities. Speed and drug use are also believed to be factors in the crash.
A negligent homicide investigation was initiated by Traffic Enforcement Unit officers, and an autopsy was ordered to determine Gonsalves’ exact cause of death.
In addition, police have initiated negligent injury, operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant, and promoting a detrimental drug cases.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Officer Casey Cabral at 961-8889.
Those who prefer to remain anonymous should call 961-8300.