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Kona fatality 05-24-09 (posted 05-26-09)

Hawai’i Police Department
Traffic Enforcement Unit
Sergeant Christopher D. Gali
Phone: 961-2332
May 22, 2009
Report No. C09015393

Media Release

A 1-year-old Captain Cook girl died Saturday (May 23) from injuries she sustained in a two-vehicle crash at the intersection of Highway and Lako Street in Kailua-Kona.

The child was identified as Aliyah Braden of a Captain Cook address.

Responding to a 7:29 p.m. call, Kona patrol officers determined that a 49-year-old woman was operating a 2004 Toyota pickup truck and traveling south on Kuakini Highway when the vehicle ran a red light, struck a traffic light pole and then struck a 2004 Honda four-door sedan traveling east on Lako Street and making a left turn onto Kuakini Highway.

Fire Rescue personnel took the driver of the Honda, a 25-year-old Captain Cook woman, and her 1-year-old daughter to Kona Community Hospital.

The child was pronounced dead 8:23 p.m. The child was in a car seat in the back seat of the Honda.

The driver of the Honda, who was wearing a seat belt, was listed in critical condition. She was to be flown to The Queens Medical Center in Honolulu.

The driver of the Toyota, Valereen P. Kaleohano-Knittle of Captain Cook, was arrested for manslaughter, operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant, reckless driving and inattention to driving. She is being held at the Kealakehe police station cellblock pending further investigation.

A passenger in the Toyota, Mark Knittle, 50, also of Captain Cook, was arrested for negligent homicide but was later released without charges.

Police believe that speed and alcohol were factors in this crash.

Traffic Enforcement Unit officers have ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.

Police ask that anyone with information about this case call Officer Marvin Troutman at 326-4646, extension 229.