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A 38-year-old Kamuela man died Thursday (July 12) from injuries he sustained in a three-vehicle crash on Queen Kaʻahumanu Highway at the 82-mile marker in North Kona.
The driver who was killed was identified as Christopher M. Landers of a Kamuela address.
Responding to a 3:53 p.m. call, Kona patrol officers determined that a 49-year-old Kailua-Kona man was operating a 2000 Ford F350 pickup truck and traveling south on Queen Kaʻahumanu Highway when his left tire blew out causing him to lose control and sideswipe a 2011 Nissan Altima traveling north.
The Ford truck continued into the northbound lane and collided with a 2002 Ford Ranger pickup truck traveling north and being operated by Landers, who was not wearing a seat belt.
The 67-year old driver of the Nissan and her female passengers, ages 20, 38 and 44, all of Austin, Texas, were not injured.
The driver of the Ford truck was taken to North Hawaiʻi Community Hospital, where he was treated and released with minor injuries.
Landers was taken to Kona Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 9:10 p.m.
Police do not suspect alcohol, drugs or speed in connection with this crash.
Traffic Enforcement Unit officers have initiated a negligent homicide investigation and have ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.
Police ask anyone with information about this crash to call Officer Joshua Lewis at 326-4646, extension 229.
This is the 16th traffic fatality on the Big Island this year compared with 12 at this time last year.
SOURCE: Hawaii County Police