East Hawaii News

Driver Pleads Guilty in 2011 Crash in Hawaii Volcanoes

June 15, 2012, 4:48 PM HST
* Updated June 16, 10:35 AM
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The driver of a vehicle involved in a fatal one-vehicle crash last year in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park has pleaded guilty to negligent homicide.

Julien T. Quiocho, 20, entered the plea Thursday in US District Court on Oahu, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported today.

Quiocho drove his pickup truck off Highway 11 near mile-marker 35 in the early morning hours of June 12, 2011. Quiocho’s passenger, 20-year-old Bryson Areola of Hilo, died in the crash.

Quiocho, also a resident of Hilo, was taken to Hilo Medical Center with critical head and spinal injuries and later transferred to an Oahu hospital.

Park officials at the time said that both speed and alcohol may have played a role in the crash.

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According to federal prosecutors, testing of Quiocho at the hospital showed he had a blood alcohol content of 0.13.

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The case was prosecuted in the US District Court because activities in the park fall under federal jurisdiction.

The Star-Advertiser reported that Quiocho pleaded guilty in a plea agreement that calls for him to serve 24 months in prison.

Quiocho will be able to withdraw his plea if he receives more prison time when sentenced in September. First-degree negligent homicide can carry a maximum of 10 years in prison.

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