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Driver in fatal Big Island dump truck crash ID'd

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 12:46 p.m. HST, Jun 3, 2013

Hawaii County police have identified the 47-year-old Kamuela man who died Saturday when the dump truck he was driving ran off the road in North Kona, struck several cars, a rock wall and a tree before it burst into flames as Kurt T. Okada.

Hawaii County police said the accident occurred before 12:05 p.m. Saturday at the intersection of Kaiminani Drive and Wainana Place in North Kona. 

Okada was driving a 1992 Kenworth dump truck and traveling west on Kaiminani Drive when he lost control, ran off the right side of the road, struck two parked cars, a rock wall, utility boxes and a tree. The vehicle then caught on fire and also ignited the tree. 

The driver, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was ejected from the vehicle. 

He was taken to Kona Community Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 4:04 p.m. 

It is unknown at this time if alcohol or drugs were involved, but speed was a factor in this crash. 

Anyone with information about this crash is asked to call officer Thomas Koyanagi at (808) 326-4646, extension 229. 

This is the 16th traffic fatality on Hawaii island this year, compared with14 at the same time last year. 

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