Big Island driver killed following collision with lava embankmen - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Big Island driver killed following collision with lava embankment

BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) - A 20-year-old Ka'u man died Sunday (July 13) from injuries he sustained in a single-vehicle crash late Friday on Hawaii Belt Road and the junction with Ginger Blossom Lane in Hawaiian Ocean View Estates.

He has been identified as Austin L. Yurong of Hawaiian Ocean View Estates.

Responding to a 11:10 p.m. call Friday (July 11), Ka'u Patrol officers determined that Yurong, who was the operator and sole occupant of a 1986 Toyota pickup truck, was traveling east on Hawaii Belt Road (Route 11) between the 80- and 81-mile markers approaching the junction with Ginger Blossom Lane when he lost control and veered off the right shoulder, colliding with a lava embankment. The vehicle veered back into the southbound traffic lane and then back into the lava embankment, rolled twice and came to rest upright, straddling the center lane markings.

Yurong was ejected from the vehicle and found lying unconscious on the south shoulder. He was taken to Kona Community Hospital and later transferred to The Queen’s Medical Center on Oahu, where he was pronounced dead at 12:39 p.m. Sunday.

Hawaii Belt Road was closed to all traffic from about 11:10 p.m. Friday to 1 a.m. Saturday.

Police believe that alcohol and speed may be contributing factors to this collision.

The Traffic Enforcement Unit has initiated a coroner’s inquest investigation and has ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.

Police ask anyone who witnessed the collision to call Officer Larry Flowers at 326-4646, extension 229.

This is the 8th fatality this year compared with 17 at this time last year.

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