A 47-year-old Kailua-Kona man and his passenger died in a three-vehicle collision Saturday evening (May 9) on Queen Kaʻahumanu Highway near the 94-mile marker.

The 47-year-old man was identified as Rick Dupont. His male passenger has not yet been identified.

Responding to a 7:32 p.m. call, police determined that a 2014 Nissan Altima was being operated by a 23-year-old woman traveling south on Queen Kaʻahumanu Highway when her car crossed left of center and side-swiped a 2010 Ford Fusion heading north, then struck head-on with a 2013 Honda CRF 250L motorcycle, also heading north, which was operated by Dupont. Dupont and his passenger were thrown from the motorcycle upon impact.

Both were taken to Kona Community Hospital, where Dupont was pronounced dead at 11:55 p.m. and his passenger was pronounced dead at 11:56 p.m.

An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.

The operator of the Nissan, 23-year-old Rebecca Vetter of Honolulu, was taken to Kona Community Hospital for treatment and was later released. She was arrested on suspicion of  first-degree negligent homicide. She was released pending further investigation.

The operator of the Ford, a 60-year-old Kamuela woman, refused treatment and was released by medics at the scene.

Police ask anyone who witnessed the crash to call Officer Kimo Keliipaakaua at 326-4646, extension 229. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300. All Crime Stoppers calls are kept confidential.

This is the ninth traffic fatality this year compared with five at this time last year.