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Victims in deadly Hawaii island crash identified

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 9:29 a.m. HST, May 29, 2013

A man and woman, both 24, died Tuesday from injuries they received when they were ejected from a car on Queen Kaahumanu Highway at the 79-mile marker in North Kona.

The driver was identified as Michelle K. Deluz, a resident of Waikoloa. 

The passenger was identified as Gary J. Fergerstrom of Kailua-Kona. 

It is unknown at this time if alcohol or drugs were involved, but speed was a factor in this crash that occurred just before 2:29 p.m.

Hawaii County police have initiated a negligent homicide and coroner’s inquest case. 

Hawaii County police said Deluz was driving south on Queen Kaahumanu Highway when she lost control of the 2007 Honda sedan she was driving, crossed the centerline and ran off the left side of the road, where the vehicle rolled into a lava field. 

Neither the driver nor the passenger were wearing their seat belts and both were ejected from the vehicle. 

Deluz was pronounced dead at the scene. Fergerstrom was flown by the fire department helicopter to North Hawaii Community Hospital, where he died at 3:34 p.m. 

These are the 14th and 15th traffic fatalities on the Big Island this year compared with 14 at this time last year. 

In a separate traffic accident, a head-on collision in Waimea sent both drivers to the hospital in critical condition.

The accident occurred at about 6:25 p.m. Tuesday on Kawaihae Road (Highway 19) near Anekona Road near Mile Marker 63. A fire official said one driver was in his 70s and the other was in his 20s.

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