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Victim in Single-Car Crash on Daniel K. Inouye Highway Dies

March 14, 2022, 11:05 AM HST
* Updated March 14, 2:05 PM
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Authorities are investigating a single-vehicle crash that occurred about a week ago on Daniel K. Inouye Highway, resulting in the death of an O‘ahu man.

The crash occurred on March 8, at about 4:32 p.m. in the area mile marker 6 in Hilo. The driver, later identified as 53-year-old Joselito Castillo of Ewa Beach, died four days after the collision.

Through the course of their investigation, Hawai‘i police say Castillo was traveling east on the highway in a 2004 Toyota Tacoma pickup when he reportedly began to hydroplane and lose control, causing the vehicle to spin.

“The vehicle continued off the eastbound shoulder of the roadway for approximately 50 feet and into a ditch approximately 150 feet deep,” HPD states. “At the time of the traffic collision, there was heavy rainfall and severe thunderstorms, making the area very dangerous to traverse.”

Emergency responders located Castillo, who was unresponsive at the scene. He was transported to Hilo Medical Center and later flown to Queens Medical Center on Oahu, on March 8, while still in stable but critical condition.

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Authorities were notified of Castillo’s death on Saturday, March 12. An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.

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The front seat passenger of the pickup truck, a 57-year-old man, was also transported to Hilo Medical Center for treatment of his injuries and was later released.

Police believe that speed, for the specific roadway conditions, is the primary factor in the outcome of this collision. Police do not believe alcohol or drugs are factors in this investigation. Further investigation will be conducted relative to any additional contributing factors.

The East Hawai‘iTraffic Enforcement Unit has initiated a coroner’s inquest investigation, which is pending. Police are asking that anyone who may have witnessed the incident or who has information to contact Officer Blayne Matsui at 808-961-2339 or via email [email protected]. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 808-961-8300.

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This is the ninth fatal traffic collision of 2022 compared to five fatal traffic collisions during this same time period last year.

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