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26-year-old male killed in four-vehicle collision 10-19-04

PHONE: 961-2232
OCTOBER 19, 2004


A 26-year old Hilo male was killed Tuesday (October 19, 2004) in a four car collision on Hawaii Belt Road (Route 19) in Ookala, .8 miles East of the 28 mile marker.

Responding to a 5:15 a.m. call Tuesday, North Hilo patrol officers determined that a 2000 Ford F-150 pickup operated by Daniel Drapesa, M-21, of Hilo, traveling East on Route 19 crossed the centerline of the roadway as he entered the Kaawalii Gulch and struck three vehicles traveling West on Route 19.

Drapesa’s vehicle first struck a 2000 Ford Ranger pickup operated by Shannon Wejrowski, M-32, of Hilo, then struck a 2004 Ford Ranger pickup operated by Shannon Wejrowski, M-32, of Hilo, then struck a 2004 Toyota Tacoma pickup operated by Chris Kauwe, M-26 of Hilo, then struck a 1994 Honda, 4-door sedan, operated by Matthew Appleton, M-29, of Volcano.

Chris Kauwe was transported to Hilo Medical Center where he was pronounced dead at 9:22 a.m. from injuries sustained in the collision. Drapesa, Wejrowski, and Appleton were also transported to the Hilo Medical Center where they were treated and released.

The Traffic Enforcement unit has initiated a Negligent homicide case and the investigation is continuing to determine if speed and alcohol factors in the crash.

Anyone with information or who witnessed this collision should contact Officer Wendall Carter of the Traffic Enforcement Unit at 961-2232.

Tuesday’s death is the 35th Traffic Fatality on the Big Island so far this year, compared to 29 for the same time last year.

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