Kailua-Kona Man Dies in Ali‘i Drive Car Crash
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.
Julie Jakob, who is staying at the Kona Tiki Hotel, was awakened by the sound of the crash.
“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.”
“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.