Police identify California couple killed in collision 11-11-02

PHONE: 961-2332
NOVEMBER 11, 2002


Police have identified a California couple who were killed Saturday (November 9, 2002) in a two-car collision on the Belt Highway (Route 19) in North Hilo.

The victims were identified as Paul Eugene Porterfield, 43, and his wife, Debra Sue Porterfield, 42, both of Norco, California. Their names had previously been withheld pending notification of next of kin.

The driver of the second vehicle involved in the collision, Michelle Kurtz, 36, of O’okala, was treated and released from the North Hawaii Community Hospital.

Responding to a 3:05 call Saturday, police determined that Mrs. Porterfield was driving the Jeep when it was struck by a 1982 Chevy pickup.

A witness reported the pickup, traveling south, crossed the centerline and struck the Jeep heading in the opposite direction. After the collision, the Jeep crossed the road to the left, skidded along the west bridge railing and then fell to the ground below, killing both occupants.

The victims were taken to the Hilo Hospital, where they were pronounced dead at 8:47 and 8:48 p.m.

Alcohol is believed to have been a factor in the collision, and Traffic Enforcement Unit officers have initiated two negligent homicide investigations. Anyone with information about the accident is asked to call Officer Robert Hatton of the Traffic Enforcement Unit at 961-2332.

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