Man Killed in South Kohala Crash Identified

February 29, 2020, 2:31 PM HST
* Updated February 29, 2:37 PM
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Authorities have identified a man killed in a three-car crash Friday night in South Kohala as 48-year-old Wayne Lopaka Keikekanehaenalu Awai, of Waikoloa.

The crash occurred on Waikoloa Road, about .1 mile east of mile marker 2. Hawai‘i Police Department responded to the incident at about 7:01 p.m.

According to authorities, Awai was driving a white 1990 Isuzu pickup when he crossed the solid yellow lines and sideswiped a westbound white 2018 Jeep Wrangler being operated by a 63-year-old California man. At that point, officers say Awai struck a blue 2015 Mazda 6 sedan head on, which was being driven by a 36-year-old Kona woman.

Awai was transported to the Kona Hawai‘i Community Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 10:48 p.m.

The Kona woman was taken to North Hawai‘i Community Hospital for treatment. The driver and occupant of the Jeep Wrangler were not injured in the collision.


Police do not believe speed is a factor in the collision.


The Traffic Enforcement Unit has initiated a Coroner’s Inquest investigation and is asking for anyone who may have witnessed the collision to contact Officer Kimo Keliipaakaua at 808-326-4646 ext. 229. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 808-961-8300 in Hilo.

This is the sixth traffic fatality this year compared to two at this time last year.

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