67-year-old motorcyclist dies in Highway 19 crash, other driver arrested

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HONOLULU (KHON2) — Big Island police closed Highway 19 for several hours Sunday afternoon following an apparent traffic accident that left a 67-year-old man dead.

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The collision happened at approximately 1:35 p.m. on Jan. 31.

First responders rushed to the scene following reports of an accident involving a 2018 Toyota Corolla four-door sedan, a a 2006 Honda Pilot and a 1973 BMW motorcycle.

The Hawaii Police Department (HPD) determined that the 2018 Toyota Corolla was traveling north on Highway 19 when the driver, a 59-year-old man from Honomu, reportedly failed to yield to oncoming traffic. Police say the Toyota Corolla struck the motorcycle while apparently attempting to execute a left turn on Honomu Road.

The Toyota Corolla spun out striking a 2006 Honda Pilot, which was stopped at the Honomu Road intersection, waiting to turn right onto Highway 19.

Big Island police say the driver of the Honda Pilot, a 39-year-old man from Kona, was carrying three passengers in his vehicle at the time: a 35-year-old woman, a 13-year-old boy and an 11-year-old girl.

The 67-year-old motorcyclist who was initially struck was found unresponsive at the scene, says HPD. He was transported to Hilo Medical Center where he was later pronounced dead at 4:24 p.m.

An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.

The driver of the Toyota Corolla was also transported to Hilo Medical Center for minor abrasions, but later released. HPD says he was arrested for negligent homicide in the second degree and later released pending further investigation.

The driver of the Honda Pilot and his passengers were not injured in the crash, according to police.

Police investigating the traffic collision have determined that

While alcohol and speeding did not appear to be factors in the crash, inattention to driving and failure to yield are believed to be major contributors.

The East Hawaii Traffic Enforcement Unit is conducting this investigation and is asking anyone who may have witnessed the accident or has information to contact Officer Erhard Autrata at 961-2329 or via email at erhard.autrata@hawaiicounty.gov.

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