1 dead, another injured after Hilo crash

1 dead, another injured after Hilo crash
Published: Jun. 15, 2013 at 1:56 PM HST|Updated: Jun. 16, 2013 at 5:23 PM HST
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UPDATE, as of Sunday at 1:15 p.m. : Hawaii County police have identified the man that died as Joseph Nieves, 23, of Hilo

One person is dead, another injured after a car crash near Hilo.

Big Island police say the car was heading Hilo bound on Kalanianaole Avenue in Keaukaha when it crossed the center  line and struck a mailbox, sheared a utility pole and slammed into the stone wall outside of Rachel Calvert's residence.

"At about 11 p.m. there was a loud crash, and then a flash of light that was like fireworks. And then a following crash. And then all the electricity went out," said Calvert.

Police say a man in his 20's was pronounced dead at the scene; a 17-year-old man was taken to the Hilo Medical Center for treatment.

The posted speed limit is 30 miles per hour. Calvert believes that the car was traveling much faster than that. "The sound of the crash and how much the debris spread, it was clear that the driver was speeding. And you could hear the screech, and it wasn't a screech of a 30 mile-an-hour car stopping."

Calvert said that if it wasn't for the lava rock wall, it could have been a lot worse. "It's here for protection. If that wall wasn't there, the car would have driven into the house, and possibly cause another fatality."

Friends of the victims have already begun a shrine at the crash site, leaving t-shirts, hats and other items on Calvert's wall. But there are two similar memorials along Kalanianaole Avenue, one with surfboards, body boards and t-shirts. Another shrine has a brown t-shirt, along with flowers that have dried over time.

"There's this shrine here that's adding to this lava rock wall. There's two shrines down the street from two separate fatalities," said Calvert. "It's terrible. The city needs to do something about this. We can't lose another life to this."

The cause of the crash in under investigation. The death is Hawaii Island's 18th traffic fatality so far this year.

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