HAWAII COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT
TRAFFIC ENFORCEMENT UNIT
SERGEANT SAMUEL V. JELSMA
NOVEMBER 1, 2000
MEDIA RELEASE UPDATE
A 48-year-old Hilo man died Tuesday night (October 31, 2000) after his motorcycle collided head-on with a vehicle while on Hawaii Belt Road (Route 19) in the Pueopaku area of Hilo.
The victim was identified as Karl Wersing, of a Waiakea Street address in Hilo.
The accident also left a 75-year-old woman in critical condition and her 81-year-old husband in stable condition.
A preliminary investigation indicated that Wersing was riding his black Harley-Davidson motorcycle toward Hilo in the Hamakua-bound lane shortly before 8:20 p.m. when he collided with a 1991 Toyota station wagon heading in the opposite direction at about the 6-mile marker.
Wersing was taken to the Hilo Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 9:43 p.m. Toshiaki Ito, 81, the driver of the station wagon, and his wife, Myra, 75, were also taken to the hospital.
Later, however, Mrs. Ito was flown to Queen’s Medical Center in Honolulu, where she was reported in critical condition Wednesday morning. Her husband was reported in stable condition at the Hilo hospital.
Traffic Enforcement Unit officers are continuing the investigation, and an autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death. The victim had not been wearing a helmet at the time of the crash, and alcohol was believed to have been a factor in the accident.
The Itos were wearing their seatbelts.
Wersing’s death was the 31st traffic fatality so far this year on the Big Island, compared to 26 at the same time last year.
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