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02-16-16 Puna fatality (correction)

Hawaiʻi Police Department
Traffic Enforcement Unit, Area I
Sergeant Christopher D. Gali
Phone: 961-2332
Report No. C16004514


Media Release (corrects fatality count in last paragraph)

An 18-year-old Puna man who was a passenger in a vehicle died Saturday (February 13) from injuries he sustained in a one-vehicle crash on Route 11 in the area of the 9-mile marker in Keaʻau.

He was identified as Albert Gonsalves of a Keaʻau address.

Responding to a 3:59 a.m. call, Puna patrol officers determined that an 18-year-old Keaʻau man had been operating a 2011 Toyota four door sedan and traveling north on Route 11 when he crossed the centerline, ran off the road and collided with a utility pole and fence.

Fire rescue personnel took the driver and two other passengers, both 18, to Hilo Medical Center. One of the passengers was flown to The Queen’s Medical Center and the other went into surgery. The driver was admitted with internal injuries.

Gonsalves was also taken to Hilo Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 7:08 a.m.

All four occupants were not wearing their seat belts. Police believe that speed and drug use were factors in this crash.

Traffic Enforcement Unit officers have initiated a negligent homicide investigation and have ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death. Police have also initiated negligent injury, operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant and promoting a detrimental drug cases.

Police ask anyone with information about this case to call Officer Casey Cabral at 961-8889.

This is the 2nd traffic fatality this year on Hawaiʻi Island compared with one at this time last year.