Woman, 33, dies in crash down 20-foot embankment in Kona

Nov. 12—A Naalehu woman, 33, died early this morning in a fiery solo crash in South Kona near Manuka State Park.

Hawaii County police responded to a 2:06 a.m. call on Mamalahoa Highway (Highway 11), south of the 84-mile marker in South Kona. Police investigators determined that the woman driving a silver 2011 Mazda CX-9 was traveling south on the highway when her vehicle ran off the right shoulder and slid down a 20-foot embankment, rolled over and caught on fire.

Hawaii Fire Department personnel extinguished the blaze and located a woman's body inside the vehicle. She was transported to the Kona Community Hospital where she was later pronounced dead at 8:32 a.m.

Police said speed and alcohol impairment were contributing factors in the crash. The driver was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash. The woman has not been positively identified pending notification of next of kin.

Anyone who may have witnessed the collision is asked to contact officer Dayson Taniguchi at (808) 326-4646, ext. 229, or email at dayson.taniguchi@hawaiicounty.gov. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at (808) 961-8300.

This marked the 14th traffic fatality this year compared to 25 at the same time last year.