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Road Rage update 07-17-06

PHONE: 326-4646, EXT. 304
JULY 17, 2006
REPORT NO. C06021898


Vernon Costa
Wanted for questioning


Police are asking for the public’s help in locating the driver of a pickup truck involved in a fatal car crash early Sunday (July 16, 2006) in West Hawaii. Police have identified the suspected driver as Vernon Costa, 41, believed to reside in Puna.

Kona patrol officers responded to a road rage report at 12:11 a.m. Sunday. The caller indicated the two vehicles involved were traveling north on Highway 190 around the 23-mile marker and heading toward Waimea.

Shortly thereafter, police received a report of two vehicles involved in a traffic accident on Highway 190 near the 16-mile marker in Puuanahulu. On arrival, police found an extensively damaged small vehicle off the shoulder of the roadway and a Dodge pickup truck on the makai shoulder. 

Police located two women who had been ejected from the smaller vehicle. Neither showed any vital signs. Both were transported to >>Kona> >Community> >Hospital>> and pronounced dead at 7:15 a.m. They were identified as Pua Lei Santa-Isabel, 26, and Casey Ann Swain, 35, both of Hilo.

Shortly after arrival at the scene, police learned that a motorist transported a third female to >>North> >Hawaii> >Community> >Hospital. >>>>She was treated for her injuries in the accident and relea>>>>sed.>>

The crash resulted in the closure of Highway 190 from about 12:30 a.m. to 7:15 a.m.

Traffic Enforcement Unit officers and Criminal Investigations Section detectives are continuing the investigation. Anyone with information about Costa’s whereabouts is asked to call Detective Mark Haggerty at 326-4646, ext. 277, or the non-emergency telephone number at 935-3311.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in >>Hilo>> or 329-8181 in Kona. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

The double fatality brings this year’s total to 20, compared with 19 at this time last year.

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