The Hawaii Police Department reports that an unidentified man died following a single-vehicle crash early Sunday morning in the Waimea area of the South Kohala District.
Responding to a 1:13 a.m. call, police determined that a 2010 Nissan Frontier pickup truck had been traveling west on Kawaihae Road near the Door of Faith Church when it veered across the highway and hit an unidentified male pedestrian who had been walking eastbound on the east shoulder of the roadway.
The unidentified man sustained critical injuries and was taken to Kona Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 6:20 a.m.
The operator of the truck, 27-year-old BertJim Badua of Kapaau was arrested on suspicion of first-degree negligent homicide and released pending further investigation.
Police believe that alcohol and speed were factors in the crash.
An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death and to determine the identity of the unidentified man.
Officers from the Traffic Enforcement Unit have initiated a negligent homicide investigation and are asking anyone who may have witnessed the crash to call Officer Kimo Keliʻipaʻakaua at 326-4646, ext. 229. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300.
This is the first traffic fatality this year compared with one at this time last year.