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Pickup truck driver dead after head-on crash with gasoline tanker

By Hawaii 24/7 Staff

Fire/rescue crews responded to a 1:38 p.m. alarm Wednesday (April 18) to an area near the 25-mile marker of Mamalahoa Highway (Route 19) in Laupahoehoe for a head-on crash.

Crews arrived to find that a Mazda pickup truck, which was traveling northbound, had crashed head-on into a tractor-trailer fuel truck hauling gasoline. The Mazda had significant damage and was on fire with the male driver trapped in the vehicle with his driver’s side close to both fuel tanks of the tractor-trailer.

Crews used foam fire retardant sprayed onto the fire which they had out by 2:02 p.m. Once the fire was out medics were able to check on the pickup driver who was found to be dead. The male driver of the tractor-trailer had minor injuries and was taken to Hilo Medical Center.

The highway was closed to traffic for six hours while emergency crews cleaned up the crash site and police were conducting an investigation into the crash. Motorists were detoured through an old section of Mamalahoa Highway and reports are that some buses detoured via Daniel K. Inouye Highway.

The cause of the crash is under investigation by the police.

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