Big Island’s first traffic fatality of year in HPP

An unidentified man died after his Jeep crossed the centerline, ran off the road and hit a utility pole Saturday on Makuu Drive in Hawaiian Paradise Park subdivision.

Officers responding to the 4:16 p.m. call determined the man driving the 2020 Jeep Wrangler with a removable top makai on Makuu Drive was traveling at a high rate of speed when it ran off the road near 2nd Avenue. The man was ejected from the Jeep as it flipped and came to a rest on its roof.

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The driver was alone in the Jeep, and police have not yet identified him.

He was unresponsive at the scene and taken to Hilo Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 7:05 p.m.

An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.

Police say the man wasn’t wearing a seat belt. They have determined that speed was a factor. It’s not yet known if alcohol or drugs were factor.

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This is the first fatal traffic collision of 2021, the same as of this time last year.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Officer Blayne Matsui at (808) 961-2339 or email Blayne.Matsui@HawaiiCounty.gov. Those who prefer anonymity may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo.

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