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Hawaii island woman, 23, dies in South Kohala car crash

A 23-year-old Kailua-Kona woman died in a collision involving two vehicles in South Kohala early today.

She has been identified as Erica Shay Pukana Aloha Camacho-Paishon, the Hawaii Police Department said in a news release.

The crash occurred on Queen Kaahumanu Highway, approximately 0.3 miles north of the 76-mile marker at about 1:55 a.m.

Police said a black 2017 Toyota 4Runner rear-ended a white 2018 Isuzu Box truck driven by a 70-year-old Kamuela man heading south on the highway. The Toyota then veered off the shoulder and struck a lava embankment.

Camacho-Paishon was the driver of the Toyota, according to a police spokeswoman. She was taken to Kona Community Hospital where she was pronounced dead at 5:53 a.m. Police said the Isuzu driver, a 70-year-old Kamuela man, was not injured in the crash.

Police believe speed and impairment are possible factors in the crash. An autopsy is scheduled to be performed to determine the exact cause of death.

This is the 15th traffic-related fatality on Hawaii island compared to eight at the same time last year.

The Area II Traffic Enforcement Unit has opened a negligent homicide investigation. Anyone who witnessed the crash is asked to contact officer Adam Roberg at 808-326-46446 or email adam.roberg@hawaiicounty.gov.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 808-961-8300.

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