North Kohala fatality 03-20-09

Hawai’i Police Department
Traffic Enforcement Unit
Sergeant Christopher D. Gali
Phone: 961-2332
March 20, 2009
Report No. C09008499

Media Release

A 67-year-old visitor from Alaska died Friday (March 20) after being involved in a two-vehicle collision on Akoni Pule Highway, .6 miles north of the 13-mile marker in the North Kohala District.

The victim was identified as Terry Lee Bergman of Juneau, Alaska.

Responding to a 2:11 p.m. call, North Kohala patrol and Traffic Enforcement Unit officers determined that the victim was operating a 2008 Mercury four-door sedan and traveling north on Akoni Pule Highway when he ran off the right side of the road, struck a guardrail, crossed the centerline and collided into a 2006 Chevrolet bus traveling south.

The victim’s wife, a 74-year-old woman, was taken to North Hawai’i Community Hospital and was confined in critical condition.

The driver of the bus, a 60-year-old Kailua-Kona man, was listed in serious condition and also confined at North Hawai’i Community Hospital.

Police do not believe that speed or alcohol were involved in this case but suspect that the victim may have suffered from a medical condition prior to the crash.

Everyone was wearing their seatbelts.

The victim was taken to Kona Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 6:08 p.m.

Traffic Enforcement Unit officers have initiated a standard negligent homicide investigation and have ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.

Police are going to wait for the results of the autopsy to see if the victim died from a medical condition or from injuries in the crash before counting this death as a traffic fatality.

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