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2 men die in fiery South Kohala crash

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Two men died early this morning in a solo vehicle crash in South Kohala on Hawaii island.

Police responded to 3:25 a.m. call at the intersection of Waikoloa Road and Queen Kaahumanu Highway. Police said a gray 2014 Jeep Cherokee with three men inside was heading north on Queen Kaahumanu Highway when it veered off the road and struck a large metal traffic light post. The vehicle caught on fire, trapping two men inside. Police said they were transported to the Kona Community Hospital, where they were later pronounced dead at 8:07 a.m. Their identities were not immediately released.

The third man, a 27-year-old Honokaa man, escaped from the burning vehicle. He was transported to the North Hawaii Community Hospital, where he is listed in stable condition.

Police said speed and alcohol impairment are possible factors in the crash.

Autopsies have been ordered to determine their exact cause of death. Positive identification is pending and the victims’ next of kin will be contacted. A coroner’s inquest investigation is underway.

Any witnesses are asked to contact officer Adam Roberg at 808-326-4646 at extension 229 or email Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may contact CrimeStoppers at 808-961-8300.

This marked the fourth and fifth traffic fatalities this year compared to seven at the same time last year.

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