Puna Fatality 04/21/99

HAWAII COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT
TRAFFIC ENFORCEMENT UNIT
ACTING SERGEANT MARTIN B. ELLAZAR
PHONE: 961-2332
APRIL 21, 1999
F-92129

MEDIA RELEASE

Police found the body of a 50-year-old man beside the Keaau-Puna highway (Route 130) after a passing motorist reported it to police Wednesday morning (April 21, 1999).

It was determined that the victim, identified as Frank Willi Siebuhr, of a Hawaiian Beaches subdivision address, had been struck by a vehicle early Sunday morning while walking along the highway. Siebuhr was taken to the Hilo Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 11:10 a.m.

Siebuhr’s body apparently had been lying beside the highway since early Sunday morning.

Responding to a call from a passing motorist about 8 a.m. Wednesday, Puna patrol officers found the victim’s body on the side of the highway just southeast of Aulii Drive.

The officers asked for a determination by Traffic Enforcement Unit officers if the victim’s death was traffic-related.

After carefully assessing evidence at the scene and injuries to the victim, the TEU officers determined that the victim had been struck by a hit-and-run vehicle.

Police quickly identified the driver of vehicle that struck Siebuhr as Robert K. Iokepa, 34, of Keaau, after receiving further information of a previous accident in the area.

Iokepa had called police about 9:30 a.m. Monday and told them he was traveling southeast on the highway early Sunday when his vehicle ran off the roadway and he thought he struck a traffic sign. After recovering evidence from the scene, which included shattered vehicle parts, investigators determined that Siebuhr had been struck by Iokepa’s vehicle.

Because of the time element involved, police could not determine whether drugs, alcohol or speed was a factor in the traffic fatality.

Monday’s fatality was the fourth so far this year, compared to 11 at the same time last year.

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