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Man Dead After 2-Car Crash Near Volcano

December 18, 2019, 7:40 AM HST
* Updated December 18, 8:44 AM
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A Hilo man is dead after a two car crash near Volcano.

Hawai‘i County Police identified the victim as 45-year-old Francis B. Makaiwi.

Police initially responded to the crash near Kahaualea Road and Highway 11 at approximately 9:26 p.m. Tuesday night. Hawai‘i County Fire crews also responded and observed heavy front-end damage to two vehicles when they arrived on scene.

During further investigation, police determined the driver of a 2018 Alfa Romeo Sport Utility Vehicle was heading south on Highway 11 when it crossed a double-solid yellow line and hit a 2003 Mazda passenger van that was traveling north.

The driver of the Mazda, later identified as Makaiwi, was unresponsive at the scene and taken to Hilo Medical Center where he was later pronounced dead at 12:35 a.m. today.

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The driver of the SUV, a 79-year-old man from Volcano, self-extricated from his vehicle. He was also taken to the hospital where he remains in stable condition.

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A man in his 70s self-extricated with minor visible injuries was taken to Hilo Medical Center for further evaluation and treatment. A man in his 40s was dead on arrival.

Police believe inattention and alcohol are factors in the crash. An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.

Highway 11 was blocked in both directions for several hours near mile marker 22 between Glenwood and Volcano. The road didn’t reopen until 4 a.m., according to a text alert from Hawai‘i County Civil Defense.

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The Traffic Enforcement Unit has initiated a Negligent Homicide investigation and is asking for anyone who may have witnessed the accident to contact Officer Clifford Antonio of the Area I Traffic Enforcement Unit at 808-961-2339. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 808-961-8300 in Hilo.

This is the 25th traffic fatality this year compared to 31 at this time last year.

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