Impaired driving was a factor in at least 19 of the 32 traffic fatalities on Hawaii Island in 2018. And that total could rise since toxicology reports haven’t been completed on all fatal collisions, police said.
Of the deaths where impairment was found to be a factor, seven were because of drugs and 12 were found to be a combination of alcohol and drugs.
“That’s a fatal combination, alcohol and drugs,” Torey Keltner, program manager for Hawaii Police Department’s Traffic Services Division, said Wednesday.
According to Keltner, in eight deaths, both speed and inattention to driving are listed as factors. Inattention alone is a factor in eight additional deaths. Speeding alone is cited as a factor in two deaths, as is reckless driving. And three deaths had miscellaneous “illness” or “other distractions” listed as factors in the collisions.
There have two traffic fatalities on Kauai this year.
There were seven traffic fatalities in 2018 on Kauai:
• Three fatalities involved pedestrians either crossing the road or walking in the roadway.
• One fatality was the result of a medical incident, resulting in a crash.
• Three fatalities in two separate incidents involved suspected speed and/or reckless driving.
All accidents are still under investigation.
The year-end death toll on Big Island roadways is the same as the official tallies in 2017 and 2016, although there were actually 36 people killed in vehicular collisions in 2017. The worst year this decade for official traffic deaths on the Big Island is 2012, with 38 fatalities.
The Garden Island contributed to this report.