UPDATE: Hawaiʻi County police and civil defense officials say the road is now open.
(BIVN) – A single vehicle traffic accident closed Government Beach Road in Puna near Papaya Farms Road on Saturday morning, police reported.
A later Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense message stated “Highway 137 in Waʻawaʻa between Papaya Farms Road and Pakaka Road is closed in both directions until further notice due to a traffic collision,” adding that “there is no detour at this time.”
UPDATE – Hawaiʻi County Police issued this media release:
An unidentified female has died from injuries sustained in a single vehicle crash that occurred on Saturday morning (June 15) on Government Beach Road, 2.8 miles South of Kahakai Boulevard.
The identification of the victim is still pending.
Responding to a 5:40 a.m. call, police determined that a 2017 Honda SUV was heading South on Government Beach Road when it veered off of the roadway onto the Makai shoulder of the single-lane road and overturned on its side. The female driver was not responsive at the scene, and was transported to the Hilo Medical Center where she was later pronounced dead at 10:34 a.m.
Police do not believe alcohol or speed were factors in the crash.
An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.
The Traffic Enforcement Unit has initiated a Coroner’s Inquest investigation and is asking for anyone who may have witnessed the accident to contact Officer Clifford Antonio of the Area I Traffic Enforcement Unit at 961-2339.
This is the 12th traffic fatality this year compared to 15 at this time last year.