KAILUA-KONA — A 28-year-old Kailua-Kona woman died following a two-vehicle collision Tuesday on Highway 11.
Police identified the victim as Shelby Ho‘okahi.
Responding to a 5:52 a.m. call, police determined Ho‘okahi was operating a 2018 KIA Optima 4-door sedan when she crossed the double solid yellow lines near the 118-mile marker and struck a southbound 2010 Lexus SUV head-on. The Lexus was being operated by a 65-year-old Kailua-Kona woman.
The KIA also had a 3-year-old female child passenger who was transported to Kona Community Hospital for treatment and later released. Ho‘okahi was transported to the Kona hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 6:30 a.m.
Ho‘okahi was not wearing her seat belt at the time of the crash.
The operator of the Lexus was initially transported to the Kona hospital and listed in critical condition. She was later transported to The Queen’s Medical Center on Oahu for further treatment. Her condition remains the same.
Police think speed and drugs are factors in the collision. The accident closed the highway between Kamehameha III Road and Laaloa Street for about four hours.
An autopsy was ordered to determine the exact cause of death.
The Area II Traffic Enforcement Unit initiated a coroner’s inquest investigation and is asking anyone who might have witnessed the collision to contact Officer Jason Foxworthy at 326-4646 ext. 229.
This is the 21st official traffic fatality on Big Island roadways this year compared to 27 at this time last year.