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Suspected drunken driver killed, man hurt in Kona crash

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 11:45 a.m. HST, Feb 13, 2012

A woman suffered fatal injuries and a man was seriously injured Sunday when a vehicle they were in hit a utility pole in South Kona.

Police said driver Dana M. Leoneza, 36, of Kealakekua, died Sunday evening at Kona Community Hospital. Her passenger, a 25-year-old Kailua-Kona man, was listed in serious condition in the hospital.

Police said speeding and alcohol appear to be factors in the one-vehicle crash.

Kona patrol officers said Leoneza was driving a 1998 Subaru multi-purpose vehicle south on Hawaii Belt Road (Route 11) when the vehicle went off a curve in the road and hit a utility pole at 2:26 a.m. at the intersection of Hawaii Belt Road and Route 180 in Honalo.

Fire and rescue personnel took Leoneza and her passenger to Kona Community Hospital.

Police arrested Leoneza at the hospital on suspicion of operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant, negligent injury and promoting a dangerous drug in the third degree.

Leoneza remained in the hospital and was pronounced dead at 8:19 p.m.

It was the second traffic fatality on the Big Island this year, compared with five at this time last year.

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