HAWAII COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT
TRAFFIC ENFORCEMENT UNIT
SERGEANT SAMUEL V. JELSMA
SEPTEMBER 12, 2000
A Puna man died Tuesday morning (September 12, 2000) after he was struck by a car as he was attempting to cross the Keaau-Pahoa Highway (Route 130) on the Pahoa side of the Shower Drive intersection.
The victim was identified as Florencio Mendoza, 62, of Hawaiian Paradise Park.
Responding to a 5:40 a.m. call, police officers determined the victim tried to cross the highway from his home on the mauka side when he was struck by a 1994 Honda being driven toward Pahoa by Lila Branco, 23, also of Hawaiian Paradise Park.
The collision knocked the victim to the ground, and as Branco attempted to stop traffic, cars continued to drive past and run over the victim until his body was knocked onto the shoulder. No other motorist whose vehicle had struck the victim stopped to offer assistance.
The victim was taken to the Hilo Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 6:37 a.m. Neither Branco, nor her 2-year-old son, Kaimi Medeiros, was injured in the accident.
Traffic Enforcement Unit officers are continuing the investigation and asking anyone who witnessed the crash or who may observed the victim on the road or side of the road to call Officer Gregory Ikeda at 961-2332.
Mendoza’s death was the 28th traffic fatality so far this year on the Big Island, compared to 22 at the same time last year.
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