The crash occurred on Wednesday morning (local time) when a Toyota 4Runner occupied by two men traveling north collided with a Nissan Titan, occupied by a man and woman traveling south, according to Hawaii police.
West Hawaii Today reports both vehicles subsequently burst into flames.
Police say the driver of the 4Runner was passing several vehicles on the highway.
“As he completed his pass the operator lost control of his vehicle, which caused it to veer into the oncoming lane where it was then involved in a broadside collision with a 2008 Nissan Titan operated by a 37-year-old Kamuela man,” police say.
All individuals were transported to Kona Community Hospital.
The three men died at the hospital and the woman from the truck is in critical condition.
The victims have not been officially identified.
Relatives and friends of the Tongan victim have been posting their tributes on his Facebook page.
Police believe speed was a factor in the crash, but it is not immediately known if alcohol was involved.
The Traffic Enforcement Unit has initiated a negligent homicide investigation.
Photos by West Hawaii Today