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Separate collisions kill 2 on Hawaii isle

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 1:38 a.m. HST, Jul 26, 2011

Two Hawaii island residents were fatally injured Sunday in separate head-on crashes, the Hawaii County Police and Fire departments said.

The first accident happened at 3:34 a.m. on Route 130 in Keaau.

Puna police said Ikeole Filoteo, 22, the driver of a 1999 Mazda sedan, died at Hilo Medical Center.

Filoteo was traveling south when he crossed the center line and collided with a 2008 Toyota sedan traveling north, police said.

Fire Department personnel took the driver of the Toyota, a 22-year-old Hilo woman, and three passengers, a 20-year-old Hilo man, a 32-year-old Hilo man and 20-year-old Hilo woman, to Hilo Medical Center. The 20-year-old man suffered critical injuries and was flown to the Queen's Medical Center in Honolulu. The other suffered minor injuries.

Alcohol was a factor in the crash, police said.

Police said alcohol was also a factor in a second accident at 9:41 p.m. A 41-year-old man died after the crash on the Hawaii Belt Road, Route 19, in Pepeekeo.

The man, identified by police as John R. Lewis Jr. of Pepeekeo, was driving a 1996 Infinity sedan traveling north on the Hawaii Belt Road when his car crossed the center line and collided with a northbound 2005 Honda sport utility vehicle.

Lewis was trapped in the vehicle and suffered critical injuries. He was pronounced dead at 10:35 p.m. at the Hilo Medical Center, officials said.

The driver of the Honda, a 43-year-old Hilo man and his passengers, all females ages 44, 18, 13 and 4, also went to Hilo Medical Center.

There have been 14 traffic fatalities in Hawaii County this year compared with 18 at this time last year.

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