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Woman killed, 4 injured in Hamakua car crash

Police say an unidentified woman was killed early this morning when the car she was in ran off Hawaii Belt Road (Highway) 19 and overturned, ejecting her and another female.

The crash occurred in Hamakua near the 48-mile marker in the area of the Boy Scout Camp.

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The victim’s identity and age are pending.

According to police, shortly after midnight a 2002 Chevy Malibu was traveling at a high rate of speed in the Hilo direction when the driver overtook another vehicle in a no-passing zone on a curve. As an oncoming vehicle approached, the driver attempted to swerve back into the Hilo-bound lane to avoid a head on collision.

The driver lost control, ran off the right shoulder and went airborne before hitting the ground and flipping over. Police say two of the five women in the Malibu were ejected. The other ejected victim was flown to Oahu in critical condition. All the others were injured and taken to the hospital.

Highway 19 was closed for four hours and traffic was rerouted as police investigated.

Police say all the women work at the same Waimea establishment and were heading home after completing their shift for the night.

Traffic Enforcement Officers have initiated a negligent Homicide investigation and additional negligent injury cases against the driver, an 18-year-old woman. Police believe that speed is a factor in the crash however they do not suspect that alcohol or drugs contributed.

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Anyone who may have witnessed the crash is asked to call Officer Blayne Matsui at 961-2339 or Crime Stoppers at 961-8300.

This is the 14th official traffic fatality this year compared to 15 at this time last year.

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