HAWAII COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT
TRAFFIC ENFORCEMENT UNIT
SERGEANT SAMUEL V. JELSMA
MARCH 23, 2000
A 51-year-old North Kohala man was pronounced dead Thursday (March 23, 2000) following a one-vehicle accident that occurred the night before on the Kohala Mountain Road (Route 250) in South Kohala.
The victim was identified as Wayne White, of Hawi, North Kohala.
Police were notified of the crash about 8:15 a.m. Thursday by Matthew Chaikin, 44, also of Hawi, who stated that he had been a passenger in the vehicle, a 2000 Ford Ranger pickup truck, and after the crash had stayed with the victim until morning, then made his way to the Kohala Mountain Road and hitchhiked to Waimea to notify police.
On arrival at the scene, police determined that White was driving north on the mountain road about 9 p.m. when his truck crossed the centerline at about the 7-mile marker and ran off the left shoulder into a cattle fence, ending up in a pasture.
Chaikin said White got out and checked his truck for damage, then began driving makai through the pasture when, about 1,000 feet from the roadway, he drove the truck off the edge of a ravine. The truck rolled about 150 feet down the ravine.
White was not wearing his seatbelt and was thrown from the truck; Chaikin had his seatbelt buckled and remained in the vehicle.
White was transported to the Kona Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 3:55 p.m.
Traffic Enforcement Unit officers are continuing the investigation into the accident, and alcohol is believed to have been involved. Police have ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.
Since White’s death occurred off a public roadway, it is not being counted statistically as a Big Island Traffic fatality. The fatality count for the Big Island so far this year remains at seven, compared to three at the same time last year.
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