Local News

Man dies following head-on crash on Saddle Road

HILO, Hawaii (KHON2) - A man is dead after a car crash on Hawaii Island Tuesday. 

The crash happened around 4:18 p.m. on Saddle Road, between the 25th and 26th mile markers.

According to the Hawaii Police Department, a 2010 Mazda sedan was traveling westbound when it crossed the center line and collided head-on into a 2018 Nissan pickup truck.

The male drivers were trapped in their vehicles, and firefighters had to use the jaws of life to get them out.

The driver of the sedan was taken to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead at 5:48 p.m. He was identified as 71-year-old Roger Vargas of Waimea.

The driver of the truck, a 51-year-old Hilo man, was transported by helicopter to Hilo Medical Center for treatment of his injuries, where he remains in stable condition.

Both drivers were wearing their seatbelts, and it is unknown at this time if speed was a factor in this crash. The exact cause of death remains under investigation. 

Police are also asking anyone who witnessed the crash to call Officer Clarence Acob at (808) 961-2329 or email: Clarence.Acob@hawaiicounty.gov. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers at (808) 961-8300.

This is the 16th traffic fatality this year compared with 20 at this time last year.

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