East Hawaii News

Teenager Dies in Pahala Single Vehicle Crash

January 15, 2015, 9:59 AM HST
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A negligent homicide investigation has been initiated following the death of a 16-year-old girl as a result of a sing-vehicle crash in Pahala Wednesday night.

Police have identified the girl as Leiani Camba-Penera.

The Hawai’i Police Department, in response to a 9:21 p.m. call Wednesday night, determined that a 1994 Toyota pickup truck under the operation of an 18-year-old Na’alehu man ran off the right shoulder and struck a utility pole as the vehicle was traveling south on Route 11, seven-tenths of a mile from the 41-mile marker. The man reportedly fell asleep at the wheel.

Camba-Penera, was not wearing a seatbelt and was ejected from the vehicle. She was taken to Hilo Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead at 4:10 a.m. Thursday.

The driver of the vehicle was also taken to Hilo Medical Center to treat injuries he sustained.


Speed and drugs are believed to be a possible contribution to the traffic fatality.


Anyone who may have witnessed the crash is asked to call Officer Kimo Keliipaakaua at 326-4646, Ext. 299.

Individuals who wish to remain anonymous may call the Big Island Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300.

This is the first traffic fatality on Big Island roadways in 2015, compared to two at this time in 2014.

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