HAWAII COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT
TRAFFIC ENFORCEMENT UNIT
SERGEANT SAMUEL V. JELSMA
NOVEMBER 11, 2001
A 26-year old woman died Saturday night (November 10, 2001) after a vehicle in which she was riding ran off the road and overturned several times.
Five others were injured in the accident, which occurred at the 43-mile marker on Saddle Road (Route 200) near the Girl Scout Camp in the Hamakua District.
The victim’s name is being withheld pending notification of her next of kin. She is a resident of Samoa and was attending school at the University of Hawaii in Hilo.
Responding to a 6:11 p.m. call, police officers determined that a rented 2002 Nissan Pathfinder driven by Diane Crichton, 21, of Hilo, and occupied by five other females, was heading east when it ran off the right shoulder of the roadway and overturned several times. The victim, who was a rear seat passenger, was thrown from the vehicle. It did not appear she had been wearing her seat belt.
Rescue personnel took the victim to North Hawaii Community Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 7:54 p.m.
The driver and four other passengers were taken to the North Hawaii Community Hospital, Kona Community Hospital and Hilo Medical Center. All were listed in fair condition.
The injured passengers were identified as Jamie Crichton, 24, Mary Anne Gotu, 24, and Lina Petaia, 20, all of Hilo; and Jessie Sooalo, 32, of Oahu. With the exception of Sooalo, all others in the vehicle were apparently University of Hawaii students.
Traffic Enforcement Unit Officers are continuing an investigation into the crash, and an autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.
Police are also investigating reports that one or possibly two westbound vehicles had forced the victims’ Pathfinder off the road, causing the rollover. Anyone who may have witnessed the crash or arrived at the scene after it occurred is asked to call Officer Kenneth Quiocho at 326-4277 or the Traffic Enforcement Unit at 961-2332.
This was the 25th traffic fatality so far this year on the Big Island, compared to 32 at the same time last year.
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