Pāhoa woman killed in Kea‘au traffic crash
Big Island police are investigating after a Pāhoa woman was killed in a single-vehicle crash Friday night in Kea‘au.
The Hawai‘i Police Department says the crash happened about 10 p.m. Friday on Auli‘i Street, near the intersection with 41st Avenue. Responding Puna patrol officers determined that three adult women and two minors were occupants of a Polaris utility terrain vehicle that was traveling south on 41st Avenue when it took a wide left turn onto Auli‘i Street, causing the operator to lose control and resulting in a roll-over crash.
The operator, identified as 42-year-old Jessica Santos, was unresponsive at the scene. Santos was transported to Hilo Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead at 1:11 a.m. Saturday. An autopsy was ordered to determine the exact cause of Santos’ death.
One of the minors reportedly sustained minimal injuries that did not require further medical attention. The remaining three occupants were uninjured.
Police think speed and inattention were contributing factors in the crash. The Police Department’s East Hawai‘i Traffic Enforcement Unit initiated a coroner’s inquest and is continuing to investigate.
Anyone who might have witnessed the crash or who has information about it is asked to contact Officer Jerome Duarte at 808-961-2339 or via email at [email protected]. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at 808-961-8300.
This is the second fatal traffic crash of 2023 compared to two fatal crashes during this same time period last year.