Responding to an 8:28 p.m. call, Puna patrol officers determined that the woman was operating a 2001 Mercury four-door sedan and traveling north on Route 130 when she crossed the center median and collided with a 1999 Mercedes Benz multi-purpose vehicle traveling south.
Fire rescue personnel took the driver of the Mercedes, a 56-year-old woman from Keaʻau, and her 23-year-old daughter to Hilo Medical Center.
The driver of the Mercury was pronounced dead at 11:26 p.m. at Hilo Medical Center.
All occupants were wearing their seatbelts.
It does not appear that alcohol or drugs were involved but speed was a factor in the crash.
Traffic Enforcement Unit officers have initiated a negligent homicide investigation and have ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.
The name of the woman who died is being held pending notification of the next of kin.
Anyone with information regarding this crash is asked to call Officer Casey Cabral at 961-8889.
This is the 1st traffic fatality on the Big Island this year compared with none at the same time last year.