UPDATE: Fatality Reported in Fuel Tractor-Trailer CrashApril 18, 2018, 10:31 PM HST (Updated April 19, 2018, 10:36 AM)
Update: Thursday, April 19, 2018, 8:01 a.m.
A man died following a two-vehicle crash Wednesday afternoon, April 18, in Laupahoehoe.
His name is being withheld pending positive identification and notification of his family.
Responding to a 1:38 p.m. call, police determined that a 2002 Mazda pickup truck was traveling northbound on Highway 19 near the 25-mile marker when it crossed the center line and collided head-on with a 2015 Kenworth fuel tanker with a fuel tank trailer that was traveling southbound on Highway 19.
The driver of the Mazda truck died on scene and was taken to the Hilo Medical Center where he was pronounced dead at 6:28 p.m.
The driver of the Kenworth tanker, a 42-year-old Kea‘au man, was taken by medics to the Hilo Medical Center for his injuries. He was in stable condition and was later released.
It is unknown at this time if speed or alcohol were factors in this crash.
An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.
Police ask anyone who witnessed the crash to call Officer Casey Cabral at (808) 961-2329.
This is the eighth traffic fatality this year compared with seven at this time last year.
The Hawai‘i Fire Department reported that one person died when a Mazda open-bed pickup truck collided head-on with a fuel tractor-trailer on Wednesday, April 18, 2018, on Highway 19 near mile marker 25 in Laupahoehoe at around 1:35 p.m.
HFD officials reported that upon their arrival, the Mazda was on fire with the driver still inside the vehicle near both of the fuel tanks.
The driver of the fuel truck was at the scene with bystanders and was removed from the location for his safety.
The Mazda was significantly damaged, fire officials said.
The fire was extinguished utilizing class B foam retardant.
Upon extinguishment of the fire, the driver of the Mazda pick-up was declared “dead-on-arrival” by HFD medic personnel.
The driver of the tractor-trailer was treated and transported to Hilo Medical Center with minor injuries.
The highway was closed to both lanes of traffic for six hours while cleanup and assessment took place.
The cause of the accident is under investigation.