HAWAII COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT
TRAFFIC ENFORCEMENT UNIT
SERGEANT SAMUEL V. JELSMA
JULY 1, 1999
Two persons died following a head-on collision that occurred late Wednesday (June 30, 1999) on Queen Kaahumanu Highway (Route 19).
One of the victims was identified as Sotero Sagabaen, 88. The other victim was not immediately identified.
Responding to a 10:25 p.m. call, patrol officers determined that a 1986 Nissan sedan driven by the unidentified victim was traveling south when it crossed the centerline and collided head-on with a 1988 Chevrolet van driven by Lilia Sagabaen, 63, near the 90 mile marker. Both vehicles caught fire, and witnesses helped pull the victims from the burning vehicles.
The victims were taken to the Kona Community Hospital where Sotero Sagabaen was pronounced dead at 11:32 p.m. The driver of the Nissan was pronounced dead at 12:35 a.m. Lilia Sagabaen was treated and confined at the hospital.
The accident caused the highway to be closed for about two and a half hours between Kaiminani Drive and Waikoloa Road.
Traffic Enforcement Unit officers are continuing an investigation to determine whether speed or alcohol was involved in the accident. They have ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of the two deaths.
The two fatalities bring the traffic fatality count to 13 so far this year, compared to 19 at the same time last year.
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