Kealakekua woman dies in two-car crash Sunday (Aug 1)

Accident scene photos. Click on image above for more photos. Special to Hawaii 24/7


A 31-year-old Kealakekua woman died Sunday (August 1) from injuries she sustained in a two-vehicle crash on Hawaii Belt Road (Route 11), .9 miles north of the 87-mile-marker in South Kona.

The victim was identified as Stella Corona of a Kealakekua address.

Responding to a 6:12 p.m. call, Kona patrol officers determined that a 26-year-old man from Honaunau was operating a 2007 Honda two-door sedan and traveling south on Route 11 when he crossed the centerline and collided with a 1999 Saturn four-door sedan traveling north.

The driver of the Saturn, who was wearing her seat belt, died at the scene.

Fire Department rescue personnel took the driver of the Honda and two passengers from the Saturn to Kona Community Hospital, where they were listed in serious condition. Two of the people had been pinned in the vehicles.

Robert W. Smith, Jr., 26, of Honaunau, was arrested for negligent homicide, manslaughter, two counts of negligent injury; habitual operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant, driving while license suspended/revoked for DUI and inattention to driving.

Being that Smith was confined to Kona Community Hospital for his injuries, he was released pending further investigation.

The victim in this case was officially pronounced dead at 11 p.m. at Kona Community Hospital.

Police believe that alcohol was a factor in this crash.

Traffic Enforcement Unit officers have requested an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.

Police ask that anyone with information about this crash call Officer Thomas Koyanagi at 326-4646, extension 229.

This is the 20th traffic fatality on the Big Island this year compared with 13 at this time last year.