POSTED: 9:44 a.m. HST, Feb 6, 2014
LAST UPDATED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Feb 7, 2014
Hawaii County police identified a 52-year-old Kona man who died Wednesday after the truck he was driving crossed the center line and hit the embankment on the shoulder of the road.
Matthew B. Lee was taken to North Hawaii Community Hospital, where he died, police said.
Lee was driving a 1997 Ford F-250 pickup truck loaded with several empty propane gas tanks heading south on Queen Kaahumanu Highway between the 71- and 72-mile markers when he veered across the centerline into the north-bound lane and sideswiped a 2013 Dodge Dart 4-door sedan at about 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, police said. The sedan was driven by a 62-year-old man from Alberta, Canada. Also in the Dodge Dart were three other adults. No one in the Dodge Dart was injured.
After colliding with the car, Lee's truck struck an embankment on the north-bound shoulder and came to a stop.
Police do not believe that alcohol or speed were factors in the accident.
Police have initiated a negligent homicide investigation and have ordered an autopsy to determine cause of death.
Police ask anyone who witnessed the crash to call officer Christopher Kapua-Allison at 808 326-4646, ext. 229.
This is the fourth fatality this year compared with seven at this time last year.