3-Car Crash in Keaʻau Yields 1 Arrest
A 19-year-old Hilo woman is facing an array of offenses after a three-car crash in Keaʻau, sending one person to the hospital in critical condition.
The crash occurred on Friday, Sept. 3. Hawaiʻi Police Department responded to the collision at 10:34 p.m. on Highway 11 near Kipimana Street. Through the course of their investigation, officers learned a 2003 Acura RSX, driven by Ariana Kahalioumi-Santos, rear-ended a 2009 Hyundai Accent at the intersection, propelling that vehicle into a 2017 Chevy SUV.
The 40-year-old woman operating the Hyundai was transported to Hilo Medical Center then flown to Queen’s Medical Center on Oʻahu with critical injuries.
The operator of the Chevy SUV, a 66-year-old Kea‘au woman, was not injured in the incident.
Kahalioumi-Santos, who was not injured in the collision, was arrested at the scene for operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant, driving a vehicle with a suspended license, and not having car insurance.
In the course of the investigation, police executed a search warrant on her vehicle and recovered liquor containers and marijuana from the vehicle she was driving.
Kahalioumi-Santos was charged Saturday, Sept. 4, with first-degree negligent injury, a class C felony; operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant with one prior conviction within 10 years; consuming or possessing liquor while operating a vehicle; driving after license suspended; reckless driving; inattention to driving; no no-fault insurance; and third-degree promotion of a detrimental drug.
Kahalioumi-Santos could face up to five years in prison if found guilty of negligent injury alone.
Kahalioumi-Santos made her initial appearance Tuesday in Hilo District Court. Judge Jeffrey Hawk granted defense counsel’s request for supervised release over Prosecutors’ objections and ordered Kahalioumi-Santos to return to court to appear for her preliminary hearing on Sept. 21 in Hilo District Court.
A review of court records indicates that at the time of the alleged offense, Kahalioumi-Santos was pending charges for another unrelated Operating a Vehicle Under the Influence of an Intoxicant incident that occurred in July 2020.
So far this year there have been 739 DUI arrests, an increase of 15.7% over the same time last year.
“Police are doing what they can to keep the roads safe but we need help,” said Sgt. Jeremy Riddle of the East Hawaiʻi Traffic Enforcement Unit.
Riddle said HPD continues to step up efforts to provide safe roads and make sure people drive safely.
“Police would like to take this opportunity to remind motorists to please drive responsibly, wear your seatbelt, buckle up your children, and don’t take the chance of drinking and driving, it’s just not worth it,” Riddle added.
Police ask anyone who may have witnessed the collision or who has information regarding this incident to call Officer Clifford Antonio at 808-961-2339 or send an email to [email protected].
Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 808-961-8300.