A 31-year-old Keaau man, who died Friday when he was ejected from a truck after he lost his brakes on Saddle Road in South Kohala, was identified as Troy K. Pattioay by Hawaii County police.
Police suspect he may have lost his brakes on the steep grade.
Pattioay was driving a 1987 Kenworth utility tracker that was pulling an unloaded lowboy trailer and traveling east on Daniel K. Inouye Hwy. near the 51-mile marker. The truck was traveling down a steep grade when it reportedly lost its brakes and crossed the centerline to the unimproved west-bound shoulder. Police said the trailer broke free and flipped over. Pattioay was ejected and died at the scene.
An autopsy has been ordered to determine the cause of death.
His passenger, a 26-year-old Keaau man, was pinned in the vehicle and had to be extricated by fire department personnel. He was taken to North Hawaii Community Hospital in stable condition and then transferred to Queens Medical Center on Oahu.
Police do not believe alcohol or speed were factors in the collision.
Big Island police ask anyone who witnessed the crash to call officer Larry Flowers Jr. at 326-4646, extension 229.
This is Hawaii County’s 25th fatality this year, compared with 36 at this time last year.