PAAUILO, BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) - Big Island police are investigating a fatal industrial accident on Highway 19 in Paauilo after a utility pole fell on a man on Wednesday morning.
A utility company was replacing a utility pole using a boom truck on the shoulder of Highway 19 near the 35 mile marker. Around 10 a.m., witnesses told police that as the pole was positioned into place, the boom collapsed, causing the pole to fall onto the victim.
The victim, a 52-year-old utility company employee from Waikoloa, was taken to the North Hawaii Community Hospital. He was pronounced dead at 10:49 a.m.
Police briefly closed the Hamakua-bound lane of Highway 19 to investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident, and both lanes have since been reopened.
The investigation is still ongoing, and an autopsy is scheduled for Friday to determine the exact cause of death.