Highway 11 fatality 10-13-08 (posted 10-14-08)

Hawaii Police Department
Traffic Enforcement Unit
Sergeant Christopher D. Gali
Phone: 961-2332
October 13, 2008
Report No. C08030978

Media Release

A 35-year-old Pahoa man died from injuries sustained in a one-vehicle crash on the Hawaii Belt Road (Route 11) at the 5-mile marker.

The victim was identified as Jerome K.K. Kalani Sr. of a Pahoa address.

Responding to a 2:45 p.m. call, South Hilo patrol officers learned that state Highway workers found a vehicle off the highway in the median in the heavy brush. Upon closer examination of the vehicle, they found the body of the driver pinned inside.

Investigation reveals that the victim was traveling south on the Hawaii Belt Road and operating a 2001 Ford Explorer Sport Trac pickup truck when he lost control, ran off the right side of the road, struck a "no parking" sign and swerved to the left into the median, striking a tree and dropping about 10 to 15 feet below the highway.

Police believe that this crash occurred sometime early Saturday morning (October 11).

The driver was wearing a seatbelt.

Police believe that alcohol was a contributing factor in this crash.

The victim was transported to Hilo Medical Center and pronounced dead at 6:55 p.m.

Traffic Enforcement Unit officers have initiated a coroner’s inquest case and have ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.

Police ask anyone with information about this case to call Officer Robert Pauole at 961-8119.

This is the 21st traffic fatality on the Big Island this year compared with 32 at this time last year.

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