Kona fatality 03-01-07

HAWAII POLICE DEPARTMENT
TRAFFIC ENFORCEMENT UNIT
SERGEANT CHRISTOPHER D. GALI
PHONE:  961-2332  
MARCH 1, 2007
REPORT NO. C07007149

MEDIA RELEASE

A 63-year-old Kealakekua man died Wednesday (February 28, 2007) from injuries he sustained in a two-vehicle crash on Kuakini Highway, 132 feet north of the 118-mile marker.

The victim was identified as Jerry Matias Sr., of Kealakekua.

Responding to a 9:25 a.m. call, Kona patrol officers determined that the victim was operating a 1985 Chevrolet pickup truck and traveling north on Kuakini Highway when he crossed the centerline and collided with a 2001 Ford pickup truck traveling south.

Fire/rescue personnel took him to Kona Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 10:02 a.m.  The driver of the Ford truck, a 30-year-old Kailua-Kona man, was being treated for minor injuries.

The victim was not wearing a seatbelt. It is unknown at this time if speed or alcohol were involved. 

Traffic Enforcement Unit officers have initiated a negligent homicide investigation and have ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death. Police ask anyone with information about the crash to call Officer Sharlotte Bird at 326-4646, extension 229.

This is the eighth traffic fatality on the Big Island this year, compared with six at this time last year.

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