Kona Fatalities 08/28/99

HAWAII COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENTx
TRAFFIC ENFORCEMENT UNIT
SERGEANT SAMUEL V. JELSMA
PHONE: 961-2332
AUGUST 28, 1999
G-04417
G-04420

MEDIA RELEASE

Two Kona men were killed in separate traffic accidents that occurred early Saturday (August 28, 1999) in Kailua-Kona.

The victim of the first accident, which occurred on Queen Kaahumanu Highway, was identified as Joshua Bus, 27, of Kailua-Kona. The victim of the second accident, which occurred at the Kailua Pier, was identified as Joe Henry Kahananui, 35, of Kailua-Kona.

Responding to the first accident call at 2:10 a.m., police officers determined that Bus’ 1985 Volkswagen Scirroco was heading north on Queen Kaahumanu at the 94-mile marker near the Kaiminani Drive intersection when it ran off the right shoulder, overturned and rolled over several times, ejecting the lone occupant onto the roadway. The victim was taken to the Kona Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 3:10 a.m.

Witnesses said Bus’ car was traveling at a high rate of speed before the accident occurred, and police believe alcohol was a factor in the accident.

Responding to the second accident call at 2:35 a.m., police officers arrived at the scene to find a 1979 Chevrolet pickup truck upside down in the water off the Kailua Pier near the boat launching area.

Along with several bystanders, officers went into the water in search of the victim. After several attempts, they located the victim in the bed of the pickup between the truck and a cement piling of the pier. Officers pulled the victim from the bed of the truck, and bystanders administered cardiopulmonary respiration. The victim was later transported to the Kona hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 3:31 a.m.

Witnesses at the scene told police there had been a large gathering at the pier before the accident and that the victim, the lone occupant of the truck, had been speeding, driving recklessly and “burning rubber” in the pier area before running off the pier and overturning in the water. Police believe alcohol was also a factor in the second accident.

Traffic Enforcement Unite officers are continuing the investigation into the accident, and autopsies have been ordered to determine the cause of the two victims’ deaths.

The deaths were the 20th and 21st traffic fatalities so far this year on the Big Island, compared to 26 at the same time last year.

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