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Ka‘u man dies after hitting bull and tractor Wednesday (April 28)


A 22-year-old Ka’u man died Wednesday (April 28) from injuries he sustained in a two-vehicle crash on Route 11, .2 miles north of the 57-mile marker in the Hilea area of the Ka’u District.

The victim was identified as James P.K. Akau of an Ocean View address.

Responding to a 5:27 a.m. call, Ka’u Patrol officers determined that Akau was operating a 2006 Kia four-door sedan and traveling north on Route 11 when he struck a bull on the roadway. The vehicle then sideswiped a 1997 Peterbuilt tractor/trailer traveling south and overturned.

Two passengers in the Kia, a 40-year-old woman and her 9-year-old daughter, were transported to Ka’u Hospital by Fire Rescue personnel. They both had been wearing their seat belts.

The 9-year-old was treated and released and her mother was transferred to Kona Community Hospital for further treatment.

It was determined that Akau was not wearing his seat belt.

The driver of the Peterbuilt, a 41-year-old Ninole man, was not injured. He was also wearing his seat belt.

It is unknown at this time if speed, alcohol or drugs were involved in this crash.

Traffic Enforcement Unit officers have initiated a negligent homicide investigation and have ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.

The highway was closed for several hours while police documented the scene.

Police ask that anyone with information about this crash call Officer Thomas Koyanagi at 326-4646, extension 229.

This is the 10th traffic fatality on the Big Island this year compared with five at this time last year.

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