North Kohala fatality (update No. 2) 11-14-07 (posted 11-15-07)

Hawaii Police Department
Traffic Enforcement Unit
Sergeant Christopher D. Gali
Phone: 961-2332
November 14, 2007
Report No. C07036473

Media Release (update No. 2)

Police traffic investigators arrested and charged a 21-year-old Hilo woman after she was discharged from the North Hawaii Community Hospital following a two-vehicle crash on Sunday (November 11, 2007) on the Akoni Pule Highway that resulted in the death of Ronald J. Tavares, 21, of Waimea.

Chelsey K.V. Mauga, of a Hilo address was arrested and charged Wednesday evening (November 14) with negligent homicide, operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant, no operator’s license, racing on highway and inattention to driving.

After conferring with the Hawaii County Prosecutor’s Office, Mauga was released on her own recognizance due to her injuries and condition.

Responding to a 1:50 a.m. call,  police determined that two pickup trucks were racing and driving recklessly on Akoni Pule Highway when one truck struck the other.

Mauga was operating a 1988 Isuzu pickup truck and traveling in the northbound lane when she stuck a 1980 GMC pickup truck in the southbound lane that was also traveling north.

Tavares, who was a passenger in the Isuzu, was pronounced dead at 7:05 a.m. Sunday at Kona Community Hospital. He had been wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.

The driver of the GMC, 34-year-old Brian Santiago of North Kohala, was arrested Sunday and charged with negligent homicide, operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant, no operator’s license, racing on the highway, inattention to driving, and driving while license suspended/revoked for DUI.

Three passengers in the GMC, two women and one man, were not injured.

This was the 35th traffic fatality on the Big Island this year, compared with 30 at this time last year.

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