1-10-22 Pedestrian Killed in S. Kohala Traffic Collision

Hawai‘i Police Department
Traffic Enforcement Unit
Sergeant Thomas Koyanagi
Phone: (808) 326-4646, Ext. 229
Report No.: 22-002832

Media Release

A 40-year-old Kailua-Kona woman died following a single vehicle collision on Sunday, January 9, 2022, on Queen Ka‘ahumanu Highway, .1 miles north of the 68 mile marker.

The woman has been positively identified as Melissa Baker Heldele. 

Responding to a 8:25 p.m. call, police determined that a maroon 2010 Honda Ridgeline pickup truck was heading south on Queen Ka‘ahumanu Highway when it struck the Heldele as she was crossing the highway. This portion of the highway is not illuminated. Heldele was transported to the Kona Community Hospital where she was later pronounced dead at 12:06 a.m.

The driver of the Honda Ridgeline pickup truck, a 54-year-old Pa‘auilo man, was not injured in the collision.

Police do not believe that speed or impairment are factors in the collision.

An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.

The Area II Traffic Enforcement Unit has initiated a negligent homicide investigation and is asking for anyone who may have witnessed the collision to contact Officer Adam Roberg at (808) 326-4646 ext. 229 or email at adam.roberg@hawaiicounty.gov. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at (808) 961-8300. 

This is the second traffic fatality this year compared to zero at this time last year.

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