HAWAII COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT
TRAFFIC ENFORCEMENT UNIT
SERGEANT SAMUEL V. JELSMA
FEBRUARY 12, 2000
A 38-year-old Hamakua woman died Saturday morning (February 12, 2000) at the Queen’s Medical Center in Honolulu of injuries she suffered in a head-on collision last month on the Kalopa Bridge on Hawaii Belt Road (Route 19).
The victim is Marilyn Morales.
Responding to a 6:16 p.m. call on January 21, Hamakua police determined that a 1979 BMW sedan heading west on Hawaii Belt Road crossed the centerline on Kalopa Bridge, climbed onto the mauka sidewalk, then veered back into the eastbound lane and collided head-on into a 1993 Nissan sedan heading east.
The driver of the BMW, Rick Taylor, 55, of Kona, along with the driver of the Nissan, Bredilia Calivoso, 36, of Honokaa and her front seat passenger, Morales, were taken to the North Hawaii Community Hospital and later flown to Honolulu in critical condition.
Taylor has since been released from the hospital, and Calivoso was released from the hospital into a rehabilitation center in Honolulu.
Witnesses said that before the crash, the BMW had been traveling at a high rate of speed and overtaking other vehicles on the roadway. Weather conditions at the time were poor, and it was raining heavily.
Traffic Enforcement Unit officers are continuing the investigation and have reclassified the negligent injury case to negligent homicide.
Morales’ death was the third traffic fatality on the Big Island so far this year, compared to one at the same time last year.
# # #