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Section of Queen Ka‘ahumanu Highway Closed Following Fatal Car Crash

By Tiffany DeMasters
May 11, 2021, 1:21 PM HST
* Updated May 11, 2:06 PM
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Courtesy of Jr Sigrah

One person is dead following a two-car crash on Queen Ka‘ahumanu Highway this morning.

The crash occurred shortly after 11 a.m. between mile markers 86-87, near Kaupulehu Drive. According to Hawai‘i Police, a white Subaru 4DSW traveling north on Queen Ka‘ahumanu Highway crossed the center line and crashed head-on with a white Peterbilt semi-truck traveling in the opposite direction.

The female driver of the Subaru 4DSW was unresponsive at the scene and transported to the Kona Community Hospital, where she was later pronounced dead. An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.

JC Nedlic was leaving Four Seasons and headed toward Kawaihae when he saw smoke. When he drove up to the scene, he said, he heard people shouting for fire extinguishers.

“I took mine so they can use it to put out the car fire,” Nedlic told Big Island Now Tuesday afternoon.

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Nedlic said he saw a woman checking the victim for a pulse. Diesel fuel from the truck was leaking all over the roadway.

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“In that moment I was shocked to see something like that happened because it’s my first time seeing it and it’s not something anyone would wanna witness,” Nedlic said. “It’s something I can’t stop thinking about.”

The victim’s name is not being released at this time pending positive identification. The driver of the Peterbilt semi-truck was not injured.

Jr Sigrah was traveling toward Waikoloa when the crash happened. He told Big Island Now he was about five trucks behind the collision and didn’t see what happened, however, he saw smoke. He pulled over and walked up to the scene where he took a few photos of the crash.

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When police arrived, Sigrah said, motorists were turned around. Both lanes of travel were closed. Sigrah said police pushed the closure back to Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keahole.

HPD’s Area II Traffic Enforcement Unit is continuing this investigation. Queen Ka‘ahumanu Highway between mile markers 86 and 87 remains closed at this time.

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.
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