Ookala crash injures 15


Fifteen people were injured Wednesday afternoon when a sports utility vehicle and a Hawaii County Hele-On bus collided near Ookala.

Responding to the 3:53 p.m. report, fire rescue personnel found a head-on collision between a mid-size sports utility vehicle and a Hele-On bus, according to the Hawaii Fire Department. The man driving the SUV was pinned and required extrication.

The driver, listed in critical condition, and multiple passengers on the bus, who suffered minor injuries, were transported to North Hawaii Community Hospital and Hilo Medical Center, according to the department.

Highway 19, near mile marker 30, was closed for about four hours while emergency personnel were on the scene, according to the Hawaii Police Department. Traffic was detoured through Ookala town.

Police had no further information available.