A 38-year-old Ka‘u man was killed in a single-vehicle crash Wednesday morning on Highway 11 near the Kona Paradise subdivision of South Kona.
The victim was identified as 38-year-old Marcus Aickin of Ocean View, according to the Hawaii Police Department.
Officers responding to the 8:46 a.m. crash determined Aickin was driving a northbound 2008 Ford pickup truck when he apparently crossed the center line, ran off the makai side of the road and struck a tree about 1,000 feet south of mile marker 97. Aickin was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.
According to responding Hawaii Fire Department personnel, the full-size pickup truck was found facing north about 10 feet off the roadway and down a 10-foot embankment. The man had to be extricated from the vehicle.
Aickin, whom Fire Department personnel said was dead upon their arrival, was taken to Kona Community Hospital where he was officially pronounced dead at 11:53 a.m., according to police.
Police have opened a coroner’s inquest case and have ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death. Because the crash may have been caused by a medical condition, police are awaiting an autopsy, scheduled for Thursday, before adding this death to the official traffic fatality count, which as of Wednesday stood at 37.
Police Area II Assistant Chief Paul Kealoha and Kona Patrol Capt. Richard Sherlock each refuted reports West Hawaii Today received that law enforcement, including its helicopter, had been chasing a large white Ford truck that apparently lost control and ran off the roadway. Kealoha said the department’s officers were “not at all” involved in a police pursuit prior to the crash.
Both said the state Department of Public Safety’s Narcotics Enforcement Division conducted a marijuana eradication effort in the South Kona area Wednesday morning. They referred calls to the division, which did not respond as of press time Wednesday.