Puna fatality 02-16-08 (posted 02-19-08)

Hawaii Police Department
Traffic Enforcement Unit
Sergeant Christopher D. Gali
Phone:  961-2332
February 16, 2008
Report No. C08004944

Media Release

A 35 year-old Pahoa man who was a front seat passenger in a vehicle died Saturday (February 16) from injuries he sustained in a one-vehicle traffic collision on Route 130 at the 16-mile marker.

The victim was identified as Daniel T. Ekau of a Pahoa address.

Responding to a 1:11 a.m. call, Puna patrol officers determined that the driver of a 1988 Honda 2-door sedan was traveling north on Route 130 when he lost control, crossed the centerline of the road and struck an embankment.

The driver and two passengers were ejected from the vehicle. It appears that only the victim was wearing his seatbelt.

The driver and rear seat passenger, a 19 year-old Pahoa man, were transported to Hilo Medical Center and later flown to The Queens Medical Center in critical condition.

The victim was pronounced dead at 5:50 a.m. at Hilo Medical Center.

Speed and alcohol were factors in this crash.

An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.

Traffic Enforcement Unit officers arrested the driver identified as Kenneth C. Gable Jr., 41, of a Pahoa address, for negligent homicide, negligent injury, operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant and promoting intoxicating liquor to a person under the age of 21.  He was released pending investigation.

Anyone with information regarding this crash is asked to call Officer Robert Pauole at 961-8119.

This is the sixth traffic fatality on the Big Island this year compared with six at this time last year.

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