HAWAII COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT
TRAFFIC ENFORCEMENT UNIT
SAMUEL V. JELSMA
AUGUST 17, 2000
A 55-year-old Hamakua woman died Thursday afternoon (August 17, 2000) following a two-car crash that occurred at the intersection of Mamalahoa Highway (Route 19) and Kapuna Road in the Ahualoa area.
The victim was identified as Kyoko Fujitani, of a Honokaa address.
Responding to a 12:50 p.m. call, police officers determined that 1980 Datsun sedan being driven by Edward Fujitani, 58, was heading toward Waimea on the highway, when at about the 44-mile marker, he executed a left turn onto Kapuna Road and was struck by a 1996 Ford sedan driven in the Hilo direction by Edward Aldridge, 17, of Waimea.
Edward Fujitani, Aldridge and Aldridge’s four passengers — Saphyre Aldridge, 15, Lextor Gaddi, 17, Nicole Arai, 15, and Melenie McCoy, 4, all of Waimea — were taken to the North Hawaii Community Hospitalm and later released.
Kyoko Fujitani was transported to Hilo Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 4:10 p.m.
Traffic Enforcement Unit officers are continuing the investigation, and an autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death. All parties involved in the crash had been wearing their seat belts.
Fujitani’s death was the 26th traffic fatality so far this year compared to 17 at the same time last year.
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