HAWAII COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT
TRAFFIC ENFORCEMENT UNIT
SERGEANT SAMUEL V. JELSMA
MAY 16, 1999
A 26-year-old Hilo man died and four persons were injured late Saturday (May 15, 1999) in a two-car traffic accident that occurred on the Iron Bridge, commonly known as the “Singing Bridge,” on Hawaii Belt Road (Route 19) in Hilo.
The victim was identified as Howland Miles, of a Kaumana Drive address.
Responding to a 10:06 p.m. accident call, police officers determined that the victim’s 1991 Ford pickup truck was traveling in the Hamakua direction on the bridge when it lost control, ran up onto the right sidewalk area and hit the railing. It then spun back onto the roadway, crossed the centerline and was struck by a 1992 Dodge Caravan heading toward Hilo. Miles’ truck overturned, pinning him inside.
Fire rescue personnel got the victim out of the truck and took him to the Hilo Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 11:30 p.m. Miles was the only occupant of the pickup.
The four occupants of the van were injured in the accident and confined at the hospital for treatment.
Traffic Enforcement Unit officers are continuing the investigation to determine whether speed or alcohol was involved in the accident. They have ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.
Miles’ death was the sixth traffic fatality so far this year, compared to 15 at the same time last year.
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