Five Killed In Big Island Wreck Friday Night

By : Diane Ako

VOLCANO, BIG ISLAND (KHNL)- We are learning more about a deadly drive on a Big Island road that ended with a three car crash leaving five people dead. Another person is still fighting for their life from this accident that happened late Friday night.

Three people in one vehicle and two people in a second vehicle where killed in a collision 10 p.m. Friday night outside the entrance of the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, park ranger Mardie Lane tells us. A third vehicle was involved in the collision but both of its occupants survived.

Lane says, "This is a very significant and tragic loss of life. I can't recall when we had an accident that involved the death of 5 people in an automobile."

It happened on Highway 11 at the 28-mile marker and near the park boundary. A car driven by a man with two female passengers was traveling in the Ka'u direction when it collided with two cars heading in the Hilo direction. All three people in the Ka'u-bound vehicle were killed.

A man and woman in the first Hilo-bound car were killed as well. A man driving the second Hilo-bound car was taken by ambulance to Hilo Medical Center, from where he was flown to The Queen's Medical Center in Honolulu. A male passenger in that same car refused medical treatment and was released at the scene, according to Lane.

Eyewitness Maija Abaya was only a few minutes down the road when the crash happened. She waited in traffic just feet from the scene. "It was like a bomb had gone off right in the middle of the car and had blown half the front end of both the vehicles off. It appeared the SUV, it had possibly ended upside down, on top, and tangled with the other vehicles."

Abaya was caught in traffic for 6 hours - till about 3:45 a.m. Saturday- while police closed the roads to investigate. Because the incident happened on park property, the on-going investigation is being headed up by federal officials.