Hawaii Island police are investigating a fatal industrial accident on Highway 19 in Paauilo after a utility pole fell on a man.
At 10 a.m. this morning (May 2), a utility company using a boom truck was replacing a utility pole on the shoulder of Mamalahoa Highway (Route 19) near the 35-mile marker. Witnesses reported that as the pole was being positioned into place, the boom collapsed and the pole fell onto the victim. Employees with the company were able to remove the pole as first responders arrived on scene.
Police briefly closed the Hāmākua bound lane of Mamalahoa Highway (Route 19) to conduct the investigation. Both lanes of the highway have since been reopened.
The victim, a 52-year-old Waikoloa man, an employee of the utility company was taken by ambulance to the North Hawaii Community Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 10:49 a.m. His name is being withheld pending notification of next-of-kin.
Detectives with the Area I Criminal Investigation Section are continuing this investigation that has been classified as a coroner’s inquest. An autopsy is scheduled for Friday (May 4) to determine the exact cause of death.
Anyone who may have information about his incident is asked to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at (808) 935-3311 or Detective Jesse Kerr of the Area I Criminal Investigation Section at (808) 961-2379 or Jesse.Kerr@hawaiicounty.gov.