Man identified in Big Island tour bus, truck collision

MILOLII (HawaiiNewsNow) - The man who died in a head-on crash between a tour bus and a truck has been identified.

Police say Bud M. Wheeler, of Captain Cook, died from injuries he received in the accident.

The 46-year-old was operating a 2006 Toyota pickup truck while traveling north on Hawaii Belt Road Sunday morning.

That's when he overtook another vehicle in a no-passing zone, and collided head-on into a 2005 Van Hool tour bus traveling south.

Wheeler was taken to Kona Community Hospital where he was pronounced dead just before 2:00 p.m.

The 52-year-old bus driver and 10 people on the tour bus were hurt and taken to the hospital.

It is unknown if Wheeler was wearing his seat belt due to the serious damages.

At this time, it is unknown if speed, alcohol or drugs were factors in the accident.

Officers have initiated a negligent homicide investigation.

An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.

This is the 23rd traffic fatality on the Big Island for 2010, compared to 19 at this time in 2009.

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