Soldier killed, another injured in North Kona crash involving military vehicle

Courtesy: Charley Palmerson

The U.S. Army confirms a soldier was killed and another injured in what it calls a “training incident” in North Kona.

It happened on Sunday, May 14, at around 7:28 a.m. at the intersection of Daniel K. Inouye Highway (Route 200) and Māmalahoa Highway (Route 190) in Puʻuanahulu.

According to Hawaii Island police, a military tractor trailer transport vehicle had been towing heavy machinery on a trailer westbound on Daniel K. Inouye Highway. Police say the operator lost control of the vehicle and then attempted to negotiate a left turn onto Māmalahoa Highway when the tractor trailer then struck the southbound lane guardrail and overturned into a culvert.

The front seat passenger within the tractor trailer was taken to the Kona Community Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 12:35 p.m. An autopsy has been order to determine the exact cause of death.

The Army identified him as Sgt. Terrence Hinton, 36, assigned to 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division.

Hinton was a native of Grand Rapids, Mich., and served as a motor transport operator. He enlisted in the Army in 2009 and previously served at Fort Campbell, Ky. before moving to Hawaii in 2016. Hinton also deployed twice, once to Afghanistan in 2010 and once to Kuwait in 2014, for a total of 21 months.

“We offer our deepest condolences to Sgt. Hinton’s family and friends and will keep them in our thoughts and prayers,” said Maj. Gen. Christopher Cavoli, Commander of the 25th Infantry Division. “It is a tragedy and a sad day when we lose one of our Soldiers.”

The operator was taken to North Hawaii Community Hospital for treatment of his injuries. The Army says he has since been released.

The Traffic Enforcement Unit has initiated a negligent homicide investigation and is asking for anyone who witnessed the crash to call Officer Christopher Kapua-Allison at 326-4646, ext. 229. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo.

This is the 11th traffic-related fatality this year compared to 10 at this time last year.

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