HILO, Hawaii (KHON2) — The Hawaii Police Department closed Mauna Kea Access Road due to a fatal accident investigation that happened on Saturday, Jan. 1, that killed a nine-year-old girl and injured seven people.
The closure was announced at 11:26 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 2. The road may open in four hours around 3:30 p.m.
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No detour is available.
The traffic investigation includes towing the vehicle involved in the fatal accident.
The fatal accident happened just before 3:30 p.m. New Year’s Day.
Police reported a Toyota Tacoma lost control as it was going west on Mauna Kea Access Road. The brakes did not respond, causing the vehicle go off the shoulder and fall into a ravine. Police said the road was wet, and it was rainy.
There were eight people in the vehicle, three of which were in the bed of the pick up. They were taken to the Hilo Medical Center.
A 40-year-old woman who was driving the truck and a 33-year old male were airlifted to The Queen’s Medical Center on Oahu. A three-year-old boy was airlifted to Kapiolani Medical Center on Oahu in critical condition.
The nine-year-old girl who was in the back seat of the cab was taken the to Hilo Medical Center for her injuries. She was pronounced dead at 5:03 p.m.
There will be an autopsy.
Police said speed, brake failure and not wearing seatbelts are factors in the accident.
This is the first traffic fatality of 2022 compared to zero fatal traffic collisions during this same time period last year.
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Anyone with information can contact Officer Jared Cabatu at (808) 961-2339 or via email Jared.Cabatu@HawaiiCounty.gov, or you can call Crime Stoppers at (808) 961-8300.