Male Driver, 68, Killed in South Kohala Collision 01-16-02

PHONE: 971-2332
JANUARY 16, 2001


A 68-year-old man was killed and his wife injured Wednesday afternoon (January 16, 2002) after the car he was driving was struck by a tractor-trailer truck on Queen Kaahumanu Highway (Route 19) at the intersection with Waikoloa Beach Drive in the South Kohala District.

The fatality victim was identified as Tadashi Ishii; his wife, as Fumiko Ishii, 61. The two were visitors from Anagasaki-Shishyogo, Japan.

Responding to an 8:07 a.m. call, police officers determined that the victim was driving a 2002 Nissan Maxima rental car on Waikoloa Beach Drive when he came to a stop at the intersection with Queen Kaahumanu Highway. The victim was turning left onto the highway when his car was struck broadside by a southbound 1993 International Semi tractor-trailer driven by Newton Kekahio, 41, of Waikoloa. The truck had been fully loaded with cinder soil at the time.

Ishii was taken to the Kona Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 12:05 p.m. His wife was taken to the North Hawaii Community Hospital, where she was confined in stable condition with a fractured neck and ribs.

Both had been wearing seatbelts and their airbags were deployed at the time of the collision.

The driver of the truck was not injured in the crash.

Traffic Enforcement Unit officers are continuing an investigation into the crash and have ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.

This was the first traffic fatality so far this year on the Big Island, compared to none at the same time last year.

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