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2 dead after South Kona crash

KAILUA-KONA — Police have launched an investigation for negligent homicide after two people died following a one-vehicle crash Friday evening in Honamalino, South Kona.

Police said they don’t believe speed or alcohol were factors in the crash, and an autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of the man and woman’s death.

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Officers, responding to an 8:13 p.m. call, determined that a 2013 Nissan sedan was traveling south on Mamalahoa Highway when it collided with an unidentified man and Roxane Cho, 54, of Kailua-Kona, who police said were in the highway’s southbound lane and not in a vehicle.

Hawaii Police Department Maj. Robert Wagner said police had earlier responded to a report of a domestic incident on the road a few miles away, but when officers arrived, nobody was there.

The description of the vehicle provided in that report matched the description of another vehicle seen at the scene of the crash.

The crash occurred near the 84-mile marker of Mamalahoa Highway.

Cho and the man, whose name is being withheld pending notification of next of kin, sustained critical injuries from the crash and were taken to Kona Community Hospital.

There, Cho was pronounced dead at 10:01 p.m. The man was pronounced dead at 12:30 a.m.

Their deaths mark the first and second traffic-related fatalities of the year.

The sedan’s operator, a 55-year-old Ocean View woman, and her passenger, also of Ocean View, were uninjured.

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The traffic enforcement unit is asking anybody who witnessed the incident to contact Officer Kimo Keliipaakaua at 326-4646 ext. 229.

Those who want to stay anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300.