California Woman Dies Following 3-Car Crash on Palani Road Earlier This Week

May 4, 2022, 10:41 AM HST
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A 72-year-old female visitor died following a three-vehicle collision that occurred on Monday, May 2, 2022, near the intersection of Palani Road and Tomi Tomi Drive in North Kona.

The woman has been positively identified as Heserlina Emata of Milpitas, California.

Responding to a 12:18 p.m. call, Hawaii police determined that a gray 2020 Toyota Tacoma pickup truck, driven by a 37-year-old Kailua-Kona man, was heading north on Palani Road when it crossed the double solid yellow lines and sideswiped a white 2004 Honda Accord traveling south that was operated by a 76-year-old Kailua-Kona woman. After sideswiping the Honda sedan, the pickup truck then struck a silver 2020 Chrysler Pacific van head-on. The van, which was operated by a 58-year-old California man, contained five female passengers.

The driver of the Honda Accord was treated at the scene. The pickup truck driver, as well as the driver and all five passengers of the van were transported to the Kona Community Hospital for treatment. The 72-year-old female passenger of the Chrysler van later died on Wednesday, May 4, 2022, and was pronounced dead at 2:40 a.m.

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


The Area II Traffic Enforcement Unit has initiated a negligent homicide investigation and is asking for anyone who may have witnessed the collision to contact Officer Jason Foxworthy at 808-326-4646 ext. 229 or email at [email protected]. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 808-961-8300.


This is the 13th traffic fatality this year compared to eight at this time last year.

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