Seven people were transported to the hospital and traffic was rerouted near milemarker 43 on Highway 19 on Tuesday evening after a collision near Honokaa.
Six of the passengers managed to get out of the vehicles on their own, but one person needed to be extricated by rescue workers.
A full-size van and a four-door sedan both sustained extensive damage to their front ends in the crash, according to a release issued by the Hawaii County Fire Department. They remained on the highway, blocking both lanes of travel at the time the release was issued, around 5 p.m. The accident occurred some time around 1 p.m.
One of the patients was transported by helicopter to Hilo Medical Center, while two others were taken there by ambulance. Four patients were transported to North Hawaii Community Hospital. Rescue workers stabilized all seven as a precaution against spinal injuries.
Highway 19 remained closed to through traffic in both directions between Pakalana and Plumeria streets as of 6:45 p.m. Tuesday night, according to a spokesman for the Hawaii Police Department. Traffic was being rerouted through Honokaa. He was unable to provide any further details.