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Police arrest van driver after fatal crash in Pahoa

A 50-year-old man died in a two-vehicle collision in Pahoa Thursday night.

His name has yet to be released pending notification of next of kin.

Shortly before 7 p.m., police said a 2004 Ford pickup truck driven by a 74-year-old Pahoa woman was traveling toward Kalapana on Highway 130 with two passengers, according to the police department in a news release.

The pickup truck driver was making a U-turn when it was struck by a 1998 Ford passenger van driven by a 30-year-old Pahoa man. The van was traveling toward Pahoa with two passengers at the time of the crash.

Paramedics transported a 50-year-old man seated in the back seat of the pickup truck to Hilo Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

Another back-seat passenger of the pickup truck was also transported to the same hospital for her injuries and is listed in stable condition.

Police said the pickup truck driver was treated for her injuries at the scene.

A 7-year-old Pahoa girl who was in the front passenger seat of the van at the time of the crash was transported to the hospital and flown to Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children in stable condition.

Paramedics also transported the van’s backseat passenger, a 65-year-old Pahoa woman, to the hospital where she was treated for her injuries. She is listed in stable condition.

Police arrested the 30-year-old passenger van driver on suspicion of driving under the influence of an intoxicant, driving without a license and driving without insurance.

In addition to alcohol, police said speed was a factor. Although it’s unclear at this time whether speed was a factor on the part of the pickup truck or the passenger van.

Police took the 30-year-old to Hilo Medical Center where he was treated for his injuries. He was released pending further investigation.

Officers closed a section of the highway between Leilani Boulevard and Malama Street for several hours to investigate the fatal crash. Police reopened the roadway at approximately 4:30 a.m. today.

A negligent homicide investigation is underway. Police said an autopsy will be conducted on the 50-year-old pickup truck passenger to determine the exact cause of death.

Anyone who witnessed the collision is asked to call police officer Erhard Autrata at 961-8118 or CrimeStoppers at 961-8300.

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