Utah Woman Dead in North Kohala Motorcycle CrashOctober 8, 2012, 5:25 PM HST (Updated October 9, 2012, 9:19 AM)
A 32-year-old Utah woman died today in a crash involving a motorcycle near the end of the Akoni Pule Highway in North Kohala.
Police said the woman was riding on the back of a rented 2012 Harley-Davidson motorcycle driven by her husband in the direction of Kapaau when the driver swerved to avoid a car that crossed the centerline.
Authorities said the motorcycle went off the road near the 28-mile marker and traveled about 150 feet down a steep embankment.
According to a fire department spokesman, both the woman, identified as Jennie Wahlstrom of North Kaysville, Utah, and her husband were found at the bottom of the gulch about 80 feet below the roadway.
The woman was dead at the scene. Her 35-year-old husband, who was not identified, was transported to North Hawaii Community Hospital in Waimea with back and leg injuries.
Neither was wearing a helmet, police said.
Both of the county’s rescue helicopters assisted in recovering the victims.
The highway was blocked for about two hours while police investigated the crash.
Police are looking for the operator of a gray sedan or anyone else who may have been in the area of the incident which occurred at about 10:30 a.m. Witnesses are asked to call Officer Larry Flowers at 326-4646, Ext. 229.
The death was the 31st traffic fatality of the year on Big Island public roadways, compared to 16 at this time last year.
***Updated on Oct. 9 to correct age of victim.***