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Fatal crash closes Mamalahoa Highway in Pahala Wednesday morning (Nov 8)

UPDATED (3:35 p.m. on 11/8/2017)

An unidentified man died in a two-vehicle crash early Wednesday morning, (November 8), in Kaʻū near the 46-mile marker of the Māmalahoa Highway Route 11.

His name is being withheld pending positive identification.

Responding to a 3:39 a.m. call, police determined that a 1999 Plymouth sedan operated by the unidentified male party had been traveling south on the Māmalahoa Highway when it crossed over the center line of the roadway and was involved in a head-on collision with a 2013 Isuzu cargo van operated by a 55-year-old Mountain View man. The collision caused the Plymouth sedan to be fully engulfed by fire, which was extinguished by the Hawaiʻi Fire Department.

The unidentified driver of the Plymouth sedan was taken to the Hilo Medical Center where he was pronounced dead at 8:40 a.m.

The driver of the Isuzu cargo van was also taken to the Hilo Medical Center where he was treated for his injuries sustained in the collision, of which he is listed in stable condition.

Police believe speed was a factor in the crash but is not immediately known if alcohol was a factor.

An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death and to identify the male party.

The Traffic Enforcement Unit has initiated a Coroner’s Inquest investigation and is asking for anyone who may have witnessed the accident to contact Officer Christopher Kapua-Allison at (808) 326-4646 ext. 229.

This is the twenty-ninth traffic fatality this year compared to 28 at this time last year.

UPDATED (8:45 a.m. on 11/8/2017)

As of 8:45 a.m. Hawaii County Civil Defense reports the roadway has reopened.

Hawaii Police Department reports that Mamalahoa Highway (Route 11) at the 47 Mile Marker between Pahala and Volcano in Ka‘u is now open to all traffic. Motorists are advised to expect delays and to drive with caution in the area.

By Hawaii 24/7 Staff (7:56 a.m. update)

Fire/rescue crews responded to a 3:36 a.m. alarm Wednesday (Nov 8) to the 47 mile marker of Mamalahoa Highway (Route 11) in Pahala for a crash between a large delivery truck and a compact sedan.

Firefighters found the truck laying on its side blocking the highway, the driver was able to get out on their own. The sedan was heavily damaged and engulfed in flames. After putting out the fire crews found a person in the driver’s seat burned beyond recognition.

Rescuers searched the area around the roadway for possible victims in case they had been ejected from the sedan but non were found.

The highway is closed while the police investigate the crash and vehicles are removed.

MEDIA RELEASE (4:30 a.m. 11/8/17)

Hawaii Police advise you to avoid Mamalahoa Highway (Route 11) at the 47 mile marker in Pahala due to a traffic crash involving a semi-truck and motor vehicle.

The roadway will be closed for several hours. There is no detour in the area please use alternate routes while police investigate.

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