HAWAII COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT
TRAFFIC ENFORCEMENT UNIT
SERGEANT SAMUEL JELSMA
APRIL 5, 2003
A 50-year-old visitor died Friday (April 4, 2003) after her bicycle was struck by a motor vehicle on the Akoni Pule Highway (Route 270) near Kapaa Park in North Kohala.
The victim was identified as Debra Kelly, of a Pagosa, Colorado, address.
Responding to a 4:30 p.m. call Friday (April 4, 2003), police determined that the victim was riding a bicycle north on the shoulder of the road when she was struck from behind by a 1998 Plymouth sedan. The vehicle, which had been traveling in the northbound lane, had crossed over the white fog line and entered the shoulder area of the road just before the collision. At the time of the collision, the bicyclist had been riding with her husband, who was just ahead of her on his bicycle.
The victim was taken to the North Kohala Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 5:14 p.m.
Neither the driver of the vehicle, Larissa Gomes, 23, of Waikoloa, nor her passenger, her 5-year-old son, was injured in the crash.
Traffic Enforcement Unit officers have initiated a standard negligent homicide case and are continuing the investigation. An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death. Alcohol does not appear to be a factor in the accident.
This was the fifth traffic fatality on the Big Island so far this year, compared to 11 at the same time last year.
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