Papaikou fatality 03-05-08

Hawaii Police Department
Traffic Enforcement Unit
Sergeant Christopher D. Gali
Phone:  961-2332
March 5, 2008
Report No. C08007015

Media Release

A 65-year-old North Carolina man died Tuesday (March 4) from injuries he sustained in a three-vehicle crash at the intersection of Hawaii Belt Road (Route 19) and Old Mamalahoa Highway in Papaikou north of Hilo.

The victim was identified as Robert Franklin Melvin of Cary, North Carolina.

Melvin was operating a 2008 Chevrolet four-door sedan and made a left turn from the Old Mamalahoa Highway onto the Hawaii Belt Road when he was struck by a 1985 Toyota Multi-purpose vehicle traveling north. The Chevrolet was pushed into the southbound lane and was struck by 2006 Ford van traveling south.

The passenger in the Chevrolet, a 75-year-old woman from South Carolina, was transported to Hilo Medical Center in stable condition. She was wearing her seatbelt.

The driver of the Toyota, an 18-year-old Pepeekeo man, and passengers, an 18-year-old female, a 3-month-old girl and a 1-year-old girl, were also taken to Hilo Medical Center.

The 3 month old was going to be flown to Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children in Honolulu in critical condition. The other occupants were in satisfactory condition. The male and female were wearing their seatbelts and the children were in child restraint seats.

The driver of the Ford van, a 54-year-old Hilo man, was not injured. He was also wearing his seatbelt.

The victim in this case was pronounced dead at Hilo Medical Center at 8:05 p.m.

Speed and alcohol are not considered factors in this crash.

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

Police ask anyone with information about this crash to call Officer Wendall Carter at 961-2293.

This is the 9th traffic fatality on the Big Island this year compared with eight at this time last year.

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