Puna fatality (update) 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 (update)

Big Island police have identified a man killed in a vehicle-pedestrian crash in Glenwood on Tuesday night (December 1) as 59-year-old Malcolm G. Nelson of Volcano.

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 near the 20-mile marker. 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. The officer went to check with his flashing blue light still engaged.

In compliance with a state law that requires motorists in both directions of traffic to pull to the far right when an officer’s blue light is flashing, a 62-year-old Mountain View woman driving a Suzuki 2-door sedan toward Hilo pulled over to the right side of her lane. As she did, she 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 initiated a standard negligent homicide investigation and have ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death. The victim’s name was initially 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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