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Hawaii island car wrecks kill 2


Two car accidents on Hawaii island since Wednesday have killed two residents, one from Kurtistown and another from Kealakekua. 

A 39-year-old Kurtistown man died in an early-morning accident today when the car he was driving overturned on Highway 11, ejecting him from the vehicle.

The crash occurred about 12:40 a.m between the 48- and 49-mile marker, Kau police said.

Police said they believe the driver was speeding and he was not wearing a seat belt.  

The man was driving a 1987 Ford sedan southbound on Highway 11 when he ran off the left side of the road, lost control and overturned, police said. 

He was taken to Kona Community Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 6:19 a.m.

The name of the victim is being withheld pending positive identification. An autopsy has been ordered to determine the cause of death.

It is unknown if alcohol or drugs were involved, police said. 

A 21-year-old Kealakekua man also died today after the station wagon he was driving rear-ended a moped at Kealakehe Parkway and Ane Keahokalole Highway on Wednesday.

The name of the victim is being withheld pending positive identification. 

Kona police said alcohol was a factor in the crash and have opened a negligent homicide  investigation. An autopsy  will be done to determine the cause of death of the victim.

Both the victim and the moped diver were taken to Kona Community Hospital. The moped driver was treated for his injuries and released. The driver of the station wagon was flown to the Queen’s Medical Center, where he died this morning at 4:10 a.m.  

Kona police said the victim was driving a 1995 Honda station wagon and traveling eastbound on Kealakehe Parkway just before 8 a.m. Wednesday when he rear-ended a moped at the intersection of Ane Keahokalole Highway. He swerved to the right and struck a fire hydrant, light pole and sign before the vehicle overturned.

The victim was not wearing a seat belt. It is unknown if speed was a factor. 

Police ask that anyone with information on either crash call Officer Thomas Koyanagi at 326-4646, extension 229. 

This is the 22nd and 23rd traffic fatality on the island, compared with 15 at this time last year. 

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