One woman died today after a passenger van carrying nine people crossed a centerline on Daniel K. Inouye Highway, also known as Saddle Road, early this morning.
Police closed the highway around 5:45 a.m. and reopened it about 11:15 a.m.
The woman’s name is being withheld pending positive identification and notification of her family.
According to police, a 2015 Ford passenger van was heading westbound on the highway near the 21-mile marker and crossed the center line. The van was then sideswiped by a 2014 Kenworth fuel tanker with a trailer heading east.
There were nine people in the passenger van. Three rear-seat passengers were transported to the Hilo Medical Center, including a 22-year-old Hilo man, a 23-year-old Hilo woman and a 23-year-old Kea’au man. They were later released.
The driver of the Kenworth tanker was a 48-year-old Hilo man who was not injured in the crash.
The woman who died was taken to the Hilo Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead at 10:43 a.m. An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.
It appears that speed was a factor in this crash, police said.
A negligent homicide case has been opened. Anyone who witnessed the crash is asked to call Officer Erhard Autrata at 961-2339.