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Pāhoa Woman Dies in June 17 Crash

June 20, 2016, 12:04 PM HST
* Updated June 20, 12:07 PM
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HPD BadgeCrystal M. Mercado-Lopez, 32, of Pāhoa died Friday, June 17, 2016, from injuries she received after being involved in a two-vehicle crash on Route 11 at the 21-mile marker in Glenwood.

Responding to a 5 p.m. call, Puna Patrol officers determined that Mercado-Lopez was operating a 2001 Plymouth four-door sedan and traveling south on Route 11 when she crossed the centerline and sideswiped a 1997 Ford pickup truck traveling north and being operated by a 48-year-old Mountain View man, who was not injured in the crash.

Fire Rescue personnel took Mercado-Lopez and her passenger, an 8-month-old girl, to Hilo Medical Center.

Mercado-Lopez was pronounced dead at 5:56 p.m.

The child was not injured.

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Police do not believe that speed, alcohol or drugs were factors in this crash.

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Both drivers were wearing their seat belts and the child was in a child restraint seat.

Traffic Enforcement Unit officers have initiated a negligent homicide investigation and have ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.

Police are looking for a female witness who talked to a firefighter at the scene.

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Anyone with information about this crash is asked to call Officer Erhard Autrata at 961-8118.

This is the 11th traffic fatality on the Big Island this year, compared with 12 at this time last year.

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