20-year-old male dies of injuries from collision 10-01-04

PHONE: 961-2332
OCTOBER 1, 2004


A 20-year-old male died of injuries he suffered in a two-vehicle collision early Friday (October 1, 2004) on Hawaii Belt Road (Route 19) near the seven-mile marker in Papaikou, Hawaii.

The victim was identified a Stephen A. Dela Cruz, of a Pahoa, Puna, address.

Responding to a 2:55 a.m. call, South Hilo patrol officers determined that Dela Cruz was driving a 2004 Ford Mustang two-door sedan south when his car crossed the centerline and struck a semi fuel truck being driven in the opposite direction by Todd Elow, 43, of Ainaloa.

Dela Cruz was taken to the Hilo Medical Center, where attempts were made to revive him. He later succumbed to his injuries, however, and was pronounced dead at 10:05 a.m. Elow was also taken to the Hilo hospital, where he was treated for minor injuries and released.

Police have not yet determined if speed or alcohol was a factor in the collision, and Traffic Enforcement Unit officers are continuing an investigation. Anyone with information about the collision is asked to call Officer Reed Mahuna or Acting Sergeant Norbert Serrao of the TEU at 961-2332.

Friday’s death was the 32nd traffic fatality on the Big Island so far this year, compared to 23 during the same period last year.

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