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Kona Boy Run Over After Falling From Truck

Posted January 10, 2013, 09:30 AM HST Updated January 10, 2013, 03:07 PM HST
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Pedro Peter. HPD photo.

A 3-year-old Kona boy was killed early Wednesday night after he fell out of his family’s pickup truck and was then run over, police said today.

The boy, identified as Joel Peter of Kailua-Kona, was run over on the shoulder of a driveway leading to the Matsuyama Store on Route 190 in Kalaoa.

Police said an investigation showed that the boy’s sister thought that her father had parked the truck and opened the rear passenger door, at which point the victim fell out.

Not knowing that the boy had fallen out, the father, identified as 38-year-old Pedro Peter, continued up the driveway and ran over the child.

Peter was arrested on suspicion of negligent homicide, driving without a driver’s license or insurance, and four counts of lacking child restraints.

Police initially learned of the incident after receiving a 6:41 p.m. call from Kona Community Hospital, where Peter had taken the child.

The boy was pronounced dead at 6:43 p.m.

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The driver’s 32-year-old wife and three girls, ages 4, 4 and 6, were also in the truck’s cab. Neither they nor two male relatives in the truck’s bed was injured.

Police said neither speed, alcohol nor drugs are believed to be factors in the case.

An autopsy will be performed.

The fatality was the first on Big Island roadways this year. There were none at this time in 2012.

Police are looking for anyone who was in the vicinity of Matsuyama Store between 6 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Wednesday and may have witnessed the incident. Witnesses are asked to call Officer Thomas Koyanagi at 326-4646, ext. 229.

***Updated at 3 p.m.***

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