Updated: October 1, 2023
A 20-year-old Kailua-Kona man died following a July Fourth fireworks incident on Hawaiʻi Island, police said.
Hawaiʻi Island police have initiated a coroner’s inquest investigation after responding to a report of a public accident, possibly involving illegal fireworks at 10:27 p.m. on July 4. The incident reportedly occurred in a retail parking lot in the 74-5400 block of Kamakaeha Avenue in Kailua-Kona.
Upon arrival, officers located a young man, later identified as Glen John Nakata, 20, lying on the ground with a substantial head injury, according to police reports.
“Bystanders stated they saw Nakata holding a fireworks launcher above his head when the firework went off, sending the young man to the ground,” according to a department press release.
Nakata was transported by ambulance to the Kona Community Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead at 11:55 that evening.
Police have ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death. Police ask that anyone who witnessed the incident to contact Officer Melani Cline at 808-326-4646, ext. 253.