Two people die in Big Island crashes

BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) - Two people were killed in separate traffic accidents on the Big Island.

An unidentified man was killed Monday from injuries he sustained in a motor vehicle/pedestrian collision on the Hawaii Belt Road, .5 miles west of the 38-mile marker in the Hamakua District.

Responding to a 1:51 a.m. call, Hamakua police officers determined that a 54-year-old Hilo man was operating a 2009 Peterbuilt tractor-trailer and traveling west on Hawaii Belt Road when he struck the victim, who had stepped out into the roadway.

The unknown man was taken to Hilo Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 7:10 a.m.

The driver of the tractor-trailer was not injured.

Traffic Enforcement Unit officers have initiated a negligent homicide investigation and have ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.

Police do not believe that speed, alcohol or drugs were factors with the driver of the tractor-trailer.

A toxicology report will be done on the victim to see if he had any alcohol or drugs in his system.

The victim is described as Caucasian, 25-35 years old, 5-foot-10, about 160 pounds with brown hair and a short beard and mustache. He was wearing blue jeans, a black T-shirt, a tan long-sleeved sweater and brown work boots.

Police ask anyone who may know his identity to call officer Andres Fojas at 961-8889 or the Police Department's non-emergency line at 935-3311.

In a separate case, an 80-year-old Keaau man died Saturday after being involved in a one-vehicle crash at the Pohoiki Boat Ramp in the Puna District.

The victim was identified as Stuart H. Jones of a Keaau address.

Responding to a 1:17 a.m. call, Puna patrol officers determined that the victim was operating a 2003 Mazda pickup truck and traveling south on Route 137 (Kalapana-Kapoho Road) when he drove down the Pohoiki Boat ramp into the water.

Bystanders were able to get the driver out of the vehicle and started CPR until police and fire department personnel arrived but he could not be revived.

It is unknown at this time if alcohol or drugs were involved and speed was not a factor in this crash.

The victim was taken to Hilo Medical Center , where he was pronounced dead at 4:50 a.m.

Traffic Enforcement Unit officers have initiated a coroner's inquest case and have ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.

This is the 25th traffic fatality on the Big Island this year compared with 22 at this time last year.

Copyright 2010 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.