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Man dies in single-vehicle accident in South Kona

An 18-year-old Ocean View man died following a single-vehicle collision on Friday on Highway 11, .1 mile south of the 95 mile marker in South Kona.

The victim has been identified as Alona Taetuna-Kaluau.

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Responding to an 8:26 p.m. call, police determined that a black 2007 Chevrolet Silverado pick-up truck was heading south when it lost control and drove off of the right (Makai) shoulder of the roadway, according to reports. The pick-up then struck a tree and rolled over. The 18-year-old male passenger was transported to the Kona Community Hospital where he was later pronounced dead at 12:24 a.m.

The driver of the Chevrolet Silverado pick-up truck, 30-year-old Bruce Kuahapio Kahele, and a 6-year-old male passenger, both from Ocean View, were taken to the Kona Community Hospital for treatment. The driver was treated and later released. The 6-year-old remains at the Kona Community Hospital for observation.

According to police, Kahele was arrested for negligent homicide, negligent injury, operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant, reckless endangering and child restraint violation. He is currently being held at the Kona cellblock pending further investigation.

Police do believe that impairment is a factor in the collision. None of the occupants of the vehicle were wearing their seatbelts. An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.

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The Area II Traffic Enforcement Unit has initiated a negligent homicide investigation and is asking for anyone who may have witnessed the accident to contact Officer Jason Foxworthy at 326-4646, ext. 229, or via email at Jason.foxworthy@hawaiicounty.gov.

This is the 11th traffic fatality this year compared to 8 at this time last year.

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