Fatality victim identified 10-25-02

PHONE: 961-2332
OCTOBER 25, 2002


Police have released the name of the victim of a head-on collision that occurred Monday (October 25, 2002) on Queen Kaahumanu Highway (Route 19) near the 79-mile marker.

The victim was identified as Carol Rey Vassar, 58, of a Kailua-Kona address.

The crash, reported at 8:21 p.m. Monday, occurred when a 1999 Chevrolet S-10 pickup truck driven north by Anthony R. Leoffler, 42, of Waikoloa, collided head-on with the victim’s 2000 Geo sedan.

According to witnesses, the pickup truck had almost been involved in several head-on collisions before striking the victim’s car. It was also reported that a vehicle heading south in front of Vassar’s car had swerved to avoid the pickup truck just before it crashed into the victim’s sedan.

The victim was taken to Kona Community Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 11:13 p.m. The driver of the pickup was taken to the North Hawaii Community Hospital, where he remains in serious condition in the intensive care unit.

After the crash, Leoffler was arrested on suspicion of first-degree negligent homicide, driving under the influenced of an intoxicant and driving on the left of the centerline. Because of his medical condition, he was released from police custody pending further investigation.

Vassar’s death was the 20th traffic-related fatality on the Big Island so far this year, compared with 22 at the same time last year.

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