News

Kailua-Kona Man Dies in Ali‘i Drive Car Crash

March 21, 2020, 9:06 AM HST
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Courtesy of Julie Jakob.

A Kailua-Kona man died following a single-vehicle collision early this morning on Ali‘i Drive, just south of Lunapule road.

The 34-year-old male has been positively identified as Robert Jibas.

Hawai‘i Police Department responded to the call at 1:54 a.m. When they arrived on scene they discovered a crashed white 2007 BMW X3 SUV. During their investigation, officers learned the driver was heading south when he struck a metal guardrail on the mauka side of the roadway. The vehicle then hit a metal trench shoring and a concrete construction barrier.

The male driver, later identified as Jibas, was taken to the Kona Community Hospital where he was later pronounced dead at 6:15 a.m.

Police are currently investigating the exact cause of the crash.

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Julie Jakob, who is staying at the Kona Tiki Hotel, was awakened by the sound of the crash.

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“It sounded like someone had dropped a washing machine out of a five-story building,” she wrote in an email.

Jakob said she tried to go back to sleep but about 20 minutes later she heard a siren coming and then it stopped as it got close. She heard a second siren soon after. At that point, she decided to go outside.

While outside, she saw several police vehicles and firefighters “milling around what looked like the back of a white vehicle.”

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“There were no efforts to extricate the victim(s) so I knew at that point it was a fatality,” Jakob said. “I stayed until a cop came over and took my statement.”

An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.

Hawaii Police Department’s Area II Traffic Enforcement Unit has initiated a Coroner’s Inquest investigation and is asking for anyone who may have witnessed the accident to contact Officer Kimo Keliipaakaua at 808-326-4646 ext. 229.

This is the seventh traffic fatality this year compared to three at this time last year.

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