UPDATE 1: Police Identify Victim in Queen K Head-On Collision

November 10, 2019, 7:49 PM HST (Updated November 11, 2019, 7:21 AM)
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A passerby caught a glimpse of the fatal collision, Sunday afternoon. (PC: Nancy Leihulu Durmas)

A woman is dead after a head-on collision this afternoon on Queen Ka‘ahumanu Highway Sunday afternoon, police confirmed.

The woman was subsequently identified as Cassandra Lynn Ellis.

Hawai‘i County Police were dispatched to the crash at approximately 2:10 p.m. near mile marker 90. Upon arrival, officers learned a Jeep Renegade, traveling south, crossed into oncoming traffic and struck a Honda Pilot traveling north.

Ellis, the driver of the Honda, was pronounced dead at the scene, police say. Three other female occupants in the Honda were taken to Kona Community Hospital — two 15-year-old females and a 10-year-old female.

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Both 15-year-olds were later transported to Queens Medical Center on O‘ahu. They were listed in critical condition as of early Monday morning. The 10-year-old’s injuries were treated at KCH, after which she was released.

The driver of the jeep, a 25-year-old man from Kamuela, suffered unknown types of injuries and was also taken to the hospital.

He was later arrested for negligent homicide, operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant, reckless driving and three counts of negligent injury. HPD believes speed and drugs were factors in the collision. The driver has been released pending further investigation.

Area II’s Traffic Enforcement Unit is investigating the crash. The road was closed for more than six hours on Queen Ka’ahumanu Highway northbound at Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport intersection and Queen Ka’ahumanu Highway southbound at the Waikoloa Road Intersection.

Police sent out a text alert at approximately 8:27 p.m. indicating the road had reopened.

Tiffany DeMasters
Tiffany DeMasters is a reporter for Big Island Now. Tiffany worked as the cops and courts reporter for West Hawaii Today from 2017 to 2019. She also contributed stories to Ke Ola Magazine and Honolulu Civil Beat. Tiffany is an award-winning journalist, receiving recognition from the Utah-Idaho-Spokane Associated Press and Society of Professional Journalists. Tiffany grew up on the Big Island and is passionate about telling the community’s stories.

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