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Driver dies of injuries from Hawaii isle head-on crash

Six others had minor injuries in the collision

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 3:54 p.m. HST, Dec 20, 2012

Hawaii County police say the driver of a sport utility vehicle that crossed the center line and collided Thursday with a Hele-On bus in Ookala died this morning. 

Kris Korban of Kailua-Kona, the driver of a 1993 Ford Explorer, was pronounced dead at 4:38 a.m., police said.

Police said alcohol may have been a factor in the crash.

An initial report by the fire department was that 15 people were injured, but police said there were six with minor injuries.

Five passengers from the bus were taken to the North Hawaii Community Hospital and treated for minor injuries.

The 58-year-old bus driver from Hilo was treated for minor injuries at Hilo Medical Center.

The crash occurred 3:58 p.m. Wednesday on Hawaii Belt Road (Highway 19) at the 30-mile marker in Ookala.

Police said Korban’s SUV was heading north when it crossed the center line and crashed into the bus, which was traveling south.

The highway has two lanes heading north direction and one south.

The roadway was wet due to heavy rainfall at the time of the accident.

This was the 38th Hawaii island traffic fatatlity so far this year, compared with 21 at the same time last year.

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