Kona motorist dies of injuries in weekend crash 04-08-03

HAWAII COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT
TRAFFIC ENFORCEMENT UNIT
SERGEANT SAMUEL JELSMA
PHONE: 961-2332
APRIL 8, 2003
H-44688/CORONER’S INQUEST

MEDIA RELEASE

A 43-year-old Kona man died Monday afternoon (April 7, 2003) of injuries he sustained in a traffic crash that occurred the day before on Queen Kaahumanu Highway (Route 19) near the 92-mile marker about a mile north of the Kona International Airport.

The victim was identified as Lester Macadangdang, of a Kailua-Kona address.

Responding to a 2:50 p.m. call Sunday, police determined that the victim was driving a 1994 Honda Civic sedan north on the highway when he tried to overtake another northbound car. As the victim pulled out to pass, another vehicle behind him was already in the process of overtaking his car. Trying to avoid a collision, the victim locked up his brakes and lost control of his car, which slid sideways and off the left shoulder of the road and into a lava field where it overturned.

The victim was taken to the Kona Community Hospital with head injuries and later flown to Queen’s Medical Center on Oahu. He later died at Queen’s and was pronounced dead at 4:22 p.m. Monday.

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

A witness described the car that had been overtaking the victim’s vehicle as a red sports sedan. The driver of the sports sedan reportedly came back to the crash site, but then left before or at the time police arrived. Anyone with information about the driver of the red sports sedan is asked to call Officer Bradley Freitas of the TEU at 326-4277 or 961-2332.

Monday’s was the third death as a result of traffic accidents over the weekend and the seventh traffic-related fatality so far this year on the Big Island, compared to 11 at the same time last year.

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