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Police: Two men died in separate alcohol-related crashes Sunday

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 4:23 p.m. HST, Jul 25, 2011

Two Big Island residents died Sunday in separate head-on crashes Sunday involving drinking and driving, the Hawaii County police and fire departments said.

The first accident happened at 3:34 a.m. Sunday on Route 130 at the 4-mile marker in Keaau.

Puna police said Ikeole Filoteo, 22, the driver of a 1999 Mazda sedan, died at Hilo Medical Center.

Filoteo was traveling south on Route 130 when he crossed the centerline and collided with a 2008 Toyota two-door sedan traveling north, police said.

The driver of the Toyota, a 22-year-old woman, and three passengers — a 20-year-old man, a 32-year-old man, and 20-year old woman — went to Hilo Medical Center. The 20-year-old man sustained critical injuries and was flown to Queen's Medical Center in Honolulu for further treatment. The other occupants received minor injuries. All occupants of the car are from Hilo.

Alcohol was a factor in this crash, police said.

Police said alcohol was also a factor in a second accident at 10:35 p.m. Sunday. A 41-year-old man was killed following the crash on the Hawaii Belt Road, Route 19, half mile north of the 11-mile marker in Pepeeko, according to police.

The man, identified by police as John R. Lewis Jr. of Pepeekeo, was driving a 1996 Infinity sedan traveling north on the Hawaii Belt Road when he crossed the centerline and collided with a 2005 Honda SUV traveling south.

Lewis was trapped in the vehicle and suffered critical injuries. He was pronounced dead at 10:35 p.m. at Hilo Medical Center, officials said.

The driver of the Honda, a 43-year-old Hilo man and his passengers, all females ages 44, 18, 13 and 4, also went to Hilo Medical Center. No information was available on their conditions.

Police closed the Hawaii Belt Road until about 1 a.m. while Lewis was freed from the sedan and police investigated the crash.

There have been 15 traffic fatalities on the Big Island this year compared with 18 at this time last year.

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