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Man, 27, killed in fiery solo crash on Big Island highway

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Hawaii island police say a 27-year-old man died after his pickup truck struck a rock embankment Thursday night on Mamalahoa Highway in North Kona.

Officers responded to a 9 p.m. call Thursday to the 17-mile marker of Mamalahoa (Highway 190), where they said a 1999 Toyota Tacoma truck had caught on fire after hitting the embankment and turning over in the lava field.

The driver had apparently been heading north on the highway when he failed to negotiate a curve in the road and crossed over the double solid yellow lines.

He was transported to Kona Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 1:16 a.m. An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.

Police said his identity is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

Police believe that speed is a factor in the crash.

Anyone who may have witnessed the accident is asked to contact Officer Adam Roberg at 808-326-4646 ext. 229 or Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 808-961-8300.

Police say this is the 12th traffic fatality for the county this year compared to seven at the same time last year.

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