Hit-and- run fatality 05-05-06

PHONE: 961-2332
MAY 5, 2006


Traffic Enforcement Unit officers are investigating a fatal hit-and-run accident late Thursday night (May 4, 2006) in Kona.

The victim was identified at Erwin Lauronal, 19, of Kailua-Kona.

Investigation revealed that Lauronal was standing along the shoulder of Queen Kaahumanu Highway about 277 feet south of Kawi Street before he was hit. His car was parked and facing south and Lauronal was talking to his mother, who was in a parked pickup truck behind him. Around 11:40 p.m. a southbound jeep ran off the road and hit Lauronal.

Lauronal was taken to Kona Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 3 a.m. Friday (May 5, 2006).

The Jeep left the scene and travelled south. A short time later police found the Jeep and its driver in Kainaliu. They arrested Keith Taylor, 26, of Hawaiian Ocean View Estates but have not charged him pending further investigation. He was also arrested for contempt of court in connection with an outstanding bench warrant and was expected to be charged for that Friday.

Police believe speed and alcohol were factors in the crash. They are investigating the case as a negligent homicide.

The fatality is the 14th this year, compared with the same number at this time last year.

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