HPD Identifies Electrocution Victim
Hawai‘i Island police have identified a woman who died by electrocution earlier this week.
Cindy Lehuanani Gonsalves-Pascual, 58, died on Tuesday night, Oct. 12, 2021, after an arcing power line started a car fire in Pāhoa.
The Hawaiʻi Fire Department responded to the incident near a residence on Heʻepali Street and Puni Mauka Loop at approximately 8:44 pm. When crews arrived on scene, they discovered electrical lines actively arcing alongside a vehicle partially involved in the flames.
According to Hawaiʻi Police, Gonsalves-Pascual and a 58-year-old man who was not named were seated in a parked vehicle on the 15-2700 block of Oʻopu Street when a portion of a tree fell onto the power lines causing the energized lines to fall. They came into contact with the roof of the vehicle and nearby surrounding foliage.
“The downed lines continued to arc on the roof of the vehicle,” HPD stated. “The male occupant exited the vehicle by climbing through a rear tailgate window that had been previously removed and exited without incident.”
According to police, the woman attempted to exit the vehicle through the same tailgate window when she fell on the galvanized gate that was directly behind it.
“As she fell, she came into contact with the fence, as well as the vehicle, and was electrocuted,” HPD stated. “The male party attempted to pull the female to safety but was unsuccessful, and he was subsequently thrown to the ground by the force of the electricity.”
The male occupant was treated at the scene for minor injuries.
An autopsy was performed on Wednesday morning, Oct. 13. Investigators concluded that Gonsalves-Pascual died as a result of severe electrocution injuries, and the manner of death was ruled accidental.
Detectives with the Area I Criminal Investigation Section are continuing the investigation, which is classified as a public accident and coroner’s inquest.
Police ask anyone who may have been in the area and witnessed this incident, or has information, to call the department’s non-emergency line at (808) 935-3311.
They may also contact Detective Clarence Davies at (808) 961-2382 or via email at [email protected].