Hawaii police identify man killed in a crash on Saddle Road

BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) - One person died following a crash Tuesday on Hawaii Island's Daniel K. Inouye Highway, more commonly known as Saddle Road, Big Island police said.

Police have identified that man as 71-year-old Roger Vargas of Waimea.

The head-on collision occurred just after 4:15 p.m. on the highway between the 25 and 26 mile markers.

Police said Vargas was driving a Mazda sedan westbound when he crossed the center line and crashed into a 2018 Nissan pickup that was going eastbound.

Police said Vargas was transported to the Hilo Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

The other driver, a 51-year-old Hilo man, was transported via a helicopter to the hospital, where he remains in stable condition.

Reports identify that man as Ricky Alaniz, a local entertainer with the group Mokuleo.

Both drivers were wearing their seat belts, police said, but it's not known if speed was a factor.

The road reopened after a four-hour closure.

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

Anyone who may have witnessed the crash is asked to contact Officer Clarence Acob at (808) 961-2329.

This story may be updated.

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