HAWAII COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT
TRAFFIC ENFORCEMENT UNIT
SERGEANT SAMUEL V. JELSMA
OCTOBER 9, 1999
A 39-year-old Hilo man died Saturday morning (October 9, 1999) after a one-car traffic accident on Saddle Road.
Police identified the victim as Ronian Kelekolio of the Panaewa subdivision in Hilo.
Responding to a 4:21 a.m. call, police officers determined that a 1986 Ford Bronco II was heading toward Kona on Saddle Road when it failed to negotiate a curve near the 33-mile marker east of the Mauna Kea State Park, crossed the centerline and ran off the left shoulder of the road into a lava field. The Bronco rolled over several times and ejected the victim, a front seat passenger.
The victim was taken to the Hilo Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 8:17 a.m.
The driver of the Bronco, James Kalili, 50, of Kailua-Kona, was transported to the Hilo hospital, where he was confined in stable condition.
Neither of the occupants was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident.
Traffic Enforcement Unit officers have initiated a standard negligent homicide investigation and are continuing the investigation to determine if sped or alcohol was a factor. They have ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.
Kelekolio’s death was the 24th traffic fatality so far this year on the Big Island, compared to 30 at the same time last year.
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