A man and a woman died in a traffic crash Friday morning (November 4) in North Kohala near the 15-mile marker of Kohala Mountain Road (Route 250).

They have been identified as 77-year-old Albert Kita and 83-year-old Dorothy Kita, both of Hāwī.

Responding to an 8:13 a.m. call, police determined that the operator of a 2007 Honda sports-utility vehicle had been traveling north on Kohala Mountain Road, when it failed to negotiate a turn, crossed the centerline of the highway and collided head-on with a 2008 Scion Xb that had been traveling south.

The driver and front seat passenger of the Scion were taken to North Hawaiʻi Community Hospital. The driver, Albert Kita, was pronounced dead at 9:32 a.m. The passenger, Dorothy Kita, was pronounced dead at 12:15 p.m.

The driver of the Honda, a 29-year-old Hāwī woman, was also taken to North Hawaiʻi Community Hospital, where she is being treated for injuries sustained in the collision.

Police believe speed and inattention may have been factors in the collision.

The Traffic Enforcement Unit has initiated a negligent homicide investigation. 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.

These are the 27th and 28th traffic fatalities this year compared with 16 at this time last year.