Two women died in a two-vehicle crash Friday afternoon, (June 1), on Palani Road near the intersection of Laimana Street, Kailua-Kona.
They have been identified as 70-year-old Takako Oikawa, of Kanagawa, Japan, and Michiko Ono, 69-years-old, of Tokyo.
Responding to a 4:33 p.m.call, police determined that a 2016 Nissan sedan operated by a 69-year-old man of Japan had been traveling west on Palani Road when the vehicle crossed over the centerline and was involved in a head-on collision with a 2018 GMC pickup truck operated by a 32-year-old Kailua-Kona man. During the collision, Takako Oikawa and Michiko Ono sustained critical injuries and were both transported to the Kona Community Hospital where Ono was pronounced dead 5:55 p.m., and Oikawa was pronounced dead at 7:55 p.m., Friday, (June 1).
The operator and one male passenger of the Nissan sedan were also transported to the Kona Community Hospital for treatment of injuries sustained in the collision, where they remain confined to the hospital in serious condition. The operator of the GMC pickup truck was also transported to the Kona Community Hospital for treatment for his injuries sustained in the collision, where he remains confined to the hospital in guarded condition.
Police believe that inattention was a factor in the crash, but it is not immediately known if alcohol was a factor.
Autopsies have been ordered to determine the exact causes of death.
The Traffic Enforcement Unit has initiated Negligent Homicide investigations and is asking for anyone who may have witnessed the accident to contact Officer Justin Hooser at (808) 326-4646 ext. 229. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at (808) 961-8300 in Hilo.
This is the thirteenth and fourteenth traffic fatality this year compared to eighteen at this time last year.