Woman killed in Hawaii Island crash with infant in car


A woman is dead after a crash on Hawaii Island involving a truck and a car.

It happened on Friday, June 17, just after 5 p.m. on Mamalahoa Highway (Highway 11) near the 21-mile marker in Glenwood.

According to the Hawaii Police Department, Crystal M. Mercado-Lopez, 32, of Pahoa, was driving a sedan southbound when she crossed the center line and sideswiped an oncoming truck.

The Hawaii Fire Department says an off-duty fire captain pulled Mercado-Lopez out of the sedan and initiated CPR. She was taken to Hilo Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead at 5:56 p.m.

Police say her infant passenger, an 8-month-old girl who was in a car seat, was also taken to the hospital, but she was not hurt.

The truck’s 48-year-old male driver was not hurt.

The road was closed in both directions as police investigated the crash.

Firefighters say both vehicles suffered extensive front-end damage. Police say both drivers were wearing their seat belts.

Traffic Enforcement Unit officers have initiated a negligent homicide investigation and have ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.

Police are looking for a female witness who talked to a firefighter at the scene.

Anyone with information about this crash is asked to call Officer Erhard Autrata at 961-8118.

This is the 11th traffic fatality on the Big Island this year compared with 12 at this time last year.

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