A man and woman from Hawi died this morning in a traffic crash in North Kohala, the Hawaii Police Department said.
Police identified the pair as Albert Kita, 77, and Dorothy Kita, 83.
Police determined that the driver of a 2007 Honda sport utility vehicle, traveling north on Kohala Mountain Road, failed to make a turn and instead crossed the centerline and struck a southbound 2008 Scion Xb, which was occupied by the Kitas.
The Kitas were taken to the North Hawaii Community Hospital. The driver, Albert Kita, was pronounced dead at 9:32 a.m. Dorothy Kita, the front seat passenger, died at 12:15 p.m., police said.
The Honda driver, a 29-year-old Hawi woman, was also taken to the same hospital, where she was treated for injuries.
Police said speed and inattention may have been factors in the crash.
The Traffic Enforcement Unit has opened a negligent homicide investigation.
These are the 27th and 28th traffic fatalities for Hawaii island this year compared with 16 the same time last year.
Witnesses are asked to call Officer Kimo Keliipaakaua at 326-4646, extension 229. Anonymous tipsters may call CrimeStoppers at 961-8300.