3-22-24 One Man Killed, Two injured in DKI Crash

Hawai‘i Police Department
Area I Traffic Enforcement Unit
Sergeant Jeremy Riddle
Phone: (808) 961-2339
Report No.: 24-027222

Media Release

Hawai‘i Island police are investigating after one man died and two men were injured in a fatal single-vehicle traffic collision on Daniel K. Inouye (DKI) Highway, at the 18-mile marker, Thursday evening, March 21, 2024.

Responding to a traffic collision at 11:04 p.m., police learned that a 2015 Nissan SUV traveling east, Hilo bound, on DKI Highway, was overtaking another vehicle when it lost control on the wet roadway, leaving the east bound shoulder and rolling several times prior to coming to a stop.

The front seat passenger, a 63-year-old man from Hilo, sustained substantial injuries and was transported via ambulance to Hilo Medical Center for treatment.

The rear passenger, 46-year-old Steven Jonathan of Hilo, was located unresponsive at the scene and transported to Hilo Medical Center where he was pronounced deceased at 2:28 a.m. Friday, March 22. He appeared to not be wearing his seatbelt at the time of the collision. An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.

The SUV driver, 31-year-old Marvin Neth from Pāhoa, sustained minor injuries and was transported to Hilo Medical Center for treatment. Upon release, Neth was arrested for the following offenses:

  • First-degree negligent homicide
  • Second-degree negligent injury
  • Operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant
  • Reckless driving
  • No motor vehicle insurance

Marvin Neth remains in custody at this time pending further investigation.

The East Hawaii Traffic Enforcement Unit responded to the scene and is continuing this investigation. At this time, police believe that speed, impairment, and reckless driving were the primary factors in the crash.

This is the second traffic fatality on Saddle Road in less than a week. An 80-year-old Keauhou woman was killed on Saturday, March 16, in a three-vehicle collision at the 25-mile marker when a 2023 BMW sedan traveling east was overtaking vehicles and struck a 2013 Ford SUV traveling west, head on. The impact of the head-on crash caused the Ford SUV to strike a 2007 Chevy pickup truck.

Police are urging motorists to drive responsibly and safely, especially during inclimate weather.

“Before your foot touches the gas pedal, you need to be mindful that your actions might have devastating consequences to yourself or others,” says Major Scott Amaral of Hawai‘i Police Department’s Area I Operations.

“Impaired driving is a continuing problem on Hawai‘i Island roads. We are doing all we can to ensure the roads are safe and need motorists to do their part as well by driving soberly and safely.”

If anyone has information regarding this collision they are asked to contact Officer Johnathan Rapoza at (808) 961-2339, or via email at Johnathan.Rapoza@hawaiicounty.gov. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at (808) 961-8300.

This is the ninth traffic fatality of 2024 as compared to five traffic fatalities this same time last year.

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