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Kona fatality (update No. 3) 06-01-09

Hawai’i Police Department
Traffic Enforcement Unit
Sergeant Christopher D. Gali
Phone: 961-2332
June 1, 2009
Report No. C09015393

(Click photo to see larger image).
Kaleohano-Knittle mug shot Knittle mug shot
Valereen Kaleohano-Knittle Mark
Police are looking for information about their activities prior to a fatal crash on May 23.

Media Release (update No. 3)

The Hawai’i Police Department is still seeking witnesses to a May 23 crash that killed a 1-year-old Captain Cook girl in Kailua-Kona.

Shortly before 7:30 p.m. , 49-year-old Valereen P. Kaleohano-Knittle of Captain Cook was traveling south on Kuakini Highway in a 2004 Toyota pickup truck. She ran a red light, struck a traffic light pole and then struck a 2004 Honda four-door sedan traveling east on Lako Street and making a left turn onto Kuakini Highway.

Fire Rescue personnel took the driver of the Honda, a 25-year-old Captain Cook woman, and her 1-year-old daughter to Kona Community Hospital.

The child, identified as Aliyah Braden, had been in a car seat in the back seat of the Honda. The driver of the Honda had been wearing her seat belt.

The girl was pronounced dead 8:23 p.m. The driver of the Honda was flown to The Queens Medical Center in Honolulu in critical condition.

Kaleohano-Knittle was arrested for manslaughter, operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant, reckless driving and inattention to driving. Her passenger, Mark Knittle, 50, also of Captain Cook, was arrested for negligent homicide but was later released without charges.

Police believe that speed and alcohol were factors in the crash.

Police ask that anyone who saw the crash or who saw Kaleohano-Knittle and Knittle earlier on the afternoon of May 23 call Officer Marvin Troutman at 326-4646, extension 229.