HAWAII COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT
TRAFFIC ENFORCEMENT UNIT
SERGEANT SAMULE V. JELSMA
FEBRUARY 17, 2002
A 20-year-old North Hilo man died and his two male passengers were injured in a single-car accident that occurred late Saturday (February 16, 2002) on the Hawaii Belt Road (Route 19) in Papaikou, South Hilo.
The fatality victim was identified as Bobby Ishikawa, of an Ookala address.
Responding to an 11:40 p.m. call, patrol officers determined that the victim was driving a 1997 Acura Integra sedan toward Hilo on the highway near the intersection with the Onomea scenic route and fronting Kalanianaole School when he lost control. The vehicle crossed the centerline, ran off the left shoulder and hit a dirt embankment, two traffic signs and the side of a pedestrian overpass. This caused the car to go airborne, then hit the roadway upside down, partially ejecting Ishikawa and pinning him between the vehicle’s roof and the pavement. The driver had not been wearing his seatbelt and sustained head injuries.
After the accident, the victim was taken to the Hilo Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 12:10 a.m. Sunday.
The front seat passenger, identified as Louie Taasan, 22, of Hilo, and the rear seat passenger, identified as Lawrence Cacabelos, 21, of Papaaloa, were also taken to the Hilo hospital, where they were treated for abrasions and released. Neither passenger had been wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident.
Traffic Enforcement Unit officers are continuing the investigation and have ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of Ishikawa’s death. Speed and alcohol are believed to have been factors in the incident.
Ishikawa’s death was the fifth traffic-related fatality so far this year, compared to none at the same time last year.
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