KEAAU, HAWAII (HawaiiNewsNow) - An 18-year-old Kea'au man who was a passenger in a vehicle died Saturday from injuries he sustained in a one-vehicle crash on Route 11 in the area of the 9-mile-marker in Kea'au.
The passenger was identified as Albert Gonsalves, of a Kea'au address.
Responding to a 3:59 a.m. call, Puna patrol officers determined that an 18-year-old Kea'au man was driving a 2011 Toyota four door sedan and traveling north on Route 11 when he crossed the centerline, ran off the road and collided with a utility pole and fence.
The driver and two passengers, both 18 years of age, were transported to the Hilo Medical Center by Fire Rescue Personnel.
One of the men was flown to the Queen's Medical Center and the other went into surgery.
The driver was also admitted with internal injuries.
All four occupants were not wearing their seatbelts.
Gonsalves was also transported to the Hilo Medical Center where he was pronounced dead at 7:08 a.m.
Police believe that speed and drug use were factors in this crash.
Traffic Enforcement Unit officers have initiated a negligent homicide investigation and have ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.
Police have also initiated Negligent Injury, Operating a vehicle Under the influences of an intoxicant and promoting detimental drug cases.
Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to call Officer Casey Cabral at 961-8889.
This is the 3rd traffic fatality this year on the Big Island compared with one at the same time last year.