Man dies in South Kohala crash

Big Island police closed a portion of Queen Kaahumanu Highway (Highway 19) on Wednesday between Puako Beach Drive and the entrance to the Mauna Lani Resort while officers investigated a fatal traffic crash near the 71-mile marker just South of Puako Beach Drive.

At approximately 11:25 a.m., officers responded to the collision and learned that a 52-year-old man was traveling south in a 1997 Ford F-250 pickup truck when he crossed the centerline and struck a 2013 Dodge Dart traveling in the opposite direction being driven by a 62-year-old man visiting from Canada.

The driver of the pickup truck was taken to North Hawaii Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The driver of the Dodge Dart and his three passengers were not injured.

At approximately 1:15 p.m., one lane of traffic was reopened on the highway. The other lane remained close.

Police have initiated a standard negligent homicide investigation.

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