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Kamuela man killed in 3 vehicle crash in North Kona

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 11:05 a.m. HST, Jul 13, 2012

One man died and another was injured in a three-vehicle crash in South Kohala on Hawaii Island, firefighters said.

Hawaii Fire Department Capt. Brent Matsuda said a man driving a Ford F-350 pickup apparently lost control after a tire blowout and clipped the back end of a 2011 Nissan Altima in the opposite lane, then crashed into an oncoming 2002 Ford Ranger pickup shortly before 4 p.m. Thursday near the 82-mile marker on Queen Kaahumanu Highway.

Firefighters sent to the scene found the driver of the F-350 pickup walking around and took him to North Hawaii Community Hospital in serious condition, Matsuda said.

Firefighters had to cut out the Ford Ranger driver, who died at the scene, Matsuda said. No one else was in the trucks. Police identified the driver as Christopher M. Landers, 38,  of Kamuela.

The 67-year old driver of the Nissan and her female passengers, ages 20, 38 and 44, all of Austin, Texas, were not injured.

Police closed Queen Kaahumanu Highway between the 82 and 83 mile markers just north of Kiholo Scenic Point for about four hours to investigate.

Launders was not wearing a seat belt, police said.

There have been 16 traffic deaths on Hawaii island this year compared with 12 at this time last year.

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