Puna motorcyclist killed in traffic crash 07-15-04

PHONE: 961-2332
JULY 15, 2004


A 36-year-old Puna man died Thursday (July 15, 2004) of injuries he sustained in a traffic crash that occurred on the Keaau-Pahoa Highway (Route 130) and Aulii Street intersection, Pahoa.

The victim was identified as Joseph M. Bertilacci, of a Hawaiian Paradise Park address.

Responding to a 7:17 a.m. call, Puna police determined that Bertilacci was riding his 2001 Harley Davidson motorcycle east on Route 130 when a 1994 Mercury four-door station wagon driven north on Aulii Street by Sha Johnson, 41, of Orchiland, made a left turn onto Route 130 into Bertilacci’s path of travel.

The victim was taken to the Hilo Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 9:24 a.m. Bertilacci was not wearing a helmet. Speed and alcohol are not believed to be factors in this incident.

Anyone with information or who witnessed the traffic crash is asked to call Officer Wendall Carter or Acting Sergeant Robert Hatton of the Traffic Enforcement Unit at 961-2332.

Thursday’s death was the 25th traffic fatality on the Big Island so far this year, compared to 15 at the same time last year.

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