The names of both men have been withheld from the media until their next of kin can be notified, according to division spokesman Master Sergeant Pete Mayes. The deceased was 36 years old and was sitting in the back of the trailer.
According to Army Major John Landry, the 20-year-old driver was towing heavy equipment along Daniel Inouye Highway when he lost control of the vehicle while making a left turn onto Mamalahoa Highway. The vehicle struck a guardrail and flipped over onto an open drain.
The deceased was taken to Kona Community Hospital and declared dead five hours after the accident. An autopsy to determine the exact cause of death has been ordered. The driver was taken to North Hawaii Community Hospital for treatment, but the severity of his injuries has not been released to the public.
Hawaii Traffic Enforcement Unit are investigating the case as a potential incidence of negligent homicide. Both Daniel Inouye and Mamalahoa Highways were closed for 14 hours after the crash. No one else was injured and no other vehicles were damaged in the crash.
The crash occurred about 16 miles west of Pōhakuloa Training Area, the largest US defense installation in the Pacific. It is used to train 13,000 US military personnel in weapons and maneuvers every year.