Kona Fatality 05/23/99

HAWAII COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT
TRAFFIC ENFORCEMENT UNIT
SERGEANT SAMUEL V. JELSMA
PHONE: 961-2332
MAY 23, 1999
F-95297

MEDIA RELEASE

A 16-year-old boy died early Sunday (May 23, 1999) following a one-car accident that occurred on Queen Kaahumanu Highway (Route 19) in North Kona.

The victim was identified as Keoki Ahuna, of Ookala.

Responding to a 12:34 a.m. call, police officers determined that a 1998 Volkswagen Jetta driven by a 24-year-old Waikoloa woman was heading northbound on Route 19 between the 91 and 92 mile markers when she tried to overtake other vehicles heading in the same direction. The woman apparently lost control of her car, which ran off the left shoulder into a lava field.

Ahuna, a front seat passenger, was thrown from the vehicle.

Fire rescue personnel treated both the driver and passenger and transported them to the Kona Community Hospital, where Ahuna was later pronounced dead at 1:45 a.m. The driver, identified as Davida Aila, was treated and released from the hospital.

Police have ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.

Traffic Enforcement Unit officers are continuing the investigation to determine whether speed or alcohol were involved and have opened a standard negligent homicide investigation.

Ahuna’s death was the seventh traffic fatality so far this year, compared to 15 at the same time last year.

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