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Man killed in head-on collision with tour bus identified

By Star-Advertiser Staff

LAST UPDATED: 1:04 p.m. HST, Oct 18, 2010

Big Island police identified the pickup truck driver killed in a head-on crash with a tour bus Sunday near Milolii in South Kona.

Police said Bud M. Wheeler, of Captain Cook, died from injuries received in the crash on the Hawaii Belt Road.

Police said Wheeler's 2006 Toytoa pickup truck overtook another vehicle while headed north in a no-passing zone and collided with a 2005 Van Hool tour bus traveling south at about 9 a.m..

The bus driver, a 52-year-old Kailua-Kona man, and 10 passengers on the bus were transported to Kona Community Hospital. All were treated and released with minor injuries.

Wheeler was pronounced dead at the hospital at 1:45 p.m.

It is unknown at this time if speed, alcohol or drugs were involved in the crash.

The bus driver was wearing his seat belt. Police said  it's unclear if Wheeler was wearing his seat belt.

Police ask that anyone who may have witnessed the crash or who saw the Toyota pickup prior to the crash call Officer Larry Flowers at 326-4646, extension 229.

This is the 23rd traffic fatality on the Big Island this year compared with 19 at this time last year.

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