A 61-year-old Hilo man and a 65-year-old Hakalau man died Sunday from injuries they suffered after being involved in a two-vehicle collision on Hawaii Belt Road near mile marker 8, north of Hilo.
One man was identified as Miles T. Nakanishi, 61, of Hilo. The name of the other man is being withheld pending positive identification and notification of the next of kin, according the Hawaii Police Department.
Responding to a 7:19 p.m. call, traffic investigators determined the unidentified man was operating a 1999 Chevrolet pick-up truck and traveling north on Hawaii Belt Road on the Hanawi Bridge when he apparently crossed the center line and collided with a 2005 Cadillac Escalade multipurpose vehicle traveling south and being operated by Nakanishi.
Both drivers were dead at the scene, police said.
There were four passengers in the Cadillac: two women and two children. All were taken to Hilo Medical Center by Fire Department rescue personnel.
The children — a 6-year-old boy and an 11-year-old girl — were flown to The Queen’s Medical Center and Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children in Honolulu, where they are listed in critical condition. The two women, ages 60 and 80, are confined to the Hilo Medical Center and listed in serious condition, police said.
It is unknown at this time if speed, alcohol or drugs were involved in this crash, police said.
Traffic Enforcement Unit officers have initiated negligent homicide and coroner’s inquest investigations and have ordered autopsies to determine the exact cause of death.