Hawaii Island collision involving school bus leaves 1 dead

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Police on Hawaii Island said one man is dead after the truck he was driving collided with a school bus on Highway 19 near Honoka’a on Tuesday, Aug. 17.

Authorities confirmed both drivers — the bus driver and the truck driver — were the sole occupants of the vehicles that were involved in the incident.

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Police only identified the deceased person as the driver of the truck and said further identification is pending notification of next of kin. According to Hawaii police, officers initially responded to a two-vehicle collision at 4:43 a.m. on Highway 19 near the 49 mile marker in Honoka’a.

Officers determined the truck — a white-colored Toyota pickup — had been traveling in the Honoka’a-bound lane when it crossed the center line and collided head-on with a large bus that was traveling in the Waimea-bound lane.

FILE – Tow truck hauls a damaged truck from the scene of a fatal collision in Honoka’a, Hawaii, Aug. 17, 2021. (Leilani Leialoha photo)

The bus driver was transported to North Hawai‘i Community Hospital and treated for his injuries, according to police. The driver of the truck was unresponsive at the scene, police said, and pronounced dead after being transported to Hilo Medical Center.

Highway 19 was closed in both directions due to the incident and officials advised motorists to use Old Mamalahoa Highway between Lakeland and Kapuna roads for those who needed to travel between Waimea and Honoka’a.

The roadway was reopened by 9:40 a.m. Tuesday, according to the Department of Transportation.

This is the 14th traffic fatality of 2021 compared to 12 at the same in 2020 on Hawaii Island. An autopsy is pending to determine the truck driver’s exact cause of death and any witnesses are asked to contact Sgt. Jeremy Riddle at (808) 961-2391 or CrimeStoppers at (808) 961-8300 if they would like to remain anonymous.

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