Puna fatality 12-02-09

Hawai’i Police Department
Traffic Enforcement Unit
Sergeant Christopher D. Gali
Phone: 961-2332
December 2, 2009
Report No. C09034744

Media Release

Big Island police have opened a negligent homicide investigation in connection with a vehicle-pedestrian crash Tuesday night (December 1) in the Glenwood area of Puna on Highway 11 at the 20-mile marker.

Just before 9:45 p.m., a police officer was conducting a traffic stop in the Volcano-bound lane of Highway 11 on the Hilo side of Hirano Store. Several occupants of a white Jeep Wrangler, possibly tourists, stopped to inform the officer that a man was lying on the shoulder of the Hilo-bound lane on the Volcano side of the store with his head at the white shoulder line. As the officer went to check with his flashing blue light still illuminated, a 62-year-old Mountain View woman driving a Suzuki 2-door sedan in the Hilo-bound lane pulled over to the shoulder of the highway and ran over the man in the road.

The victim was taken to Hilo Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 12:30 a.m. Wednesday (December 2).

Police do not believe that alcohol or speed were factors with respect to the driver but the victim appeared to have been drinking.

Police have ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death. The victim’s name is being withheld pending notification of his family.

Police ask that the occupants of the Jeep or any other witnesses call Officer Robert Pauole at 961-8119 or the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

This is the 22nd traffic fatality so far this year compared with 25 at this time last year. The Traffic Enforcement Unit is continuing the investigation.

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