Hawaiʻi Island police identify two pedestrians killed in recent crashes

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Hawai‘i Island police have identified two pedestrians who were killed during the past month in separate traffic collisions in East Hawai‘i.

On April 20, Lara Chun, 62 of Kea‘au, died after being struck by a 2017 Honda HRV while crossing Highway 130, just north of Paradise Drive.

Police responded at 6:58 p.m. and determined that the Honda was traveling south on Highway 130 when it struck Chun in the south bound lane. In a news release, police said it should be noted that the roadway was dry and there were no crosswalks in the sparsely lit area.

An autopsy was conducted and police are waiting for the pathologist’s completed report. No criminal charges have been filed at this time against the 41-year-old female driver of the Honda who has not been identified, but the investigation continues.


On May 14, Justin Rupert, 42 of Volcano, died after being struck by a 2003 Toyota Tacoma that was traveling north on Highway 11 in front of Glenwood Park in Volcano. Rupert was hit while in the northbound shoulder lane.

The driver of that vehicle, Patrick Murphy of Mountain View, was initially arrested for this incident and was later released pending further investigation after conferring with the County Prosecutor’s Office.

Murphy had left the scene, telling police he thought he hit a pig. But after going to a friend’s house, Murphy returned to the scene and after discovering he hit a person called 911 and performed CPR until police arrived.


An autopsy was conducted, however the pathologist’s completed report is still pending at this time.

Both investigations continue to be investigated by the East Hawai’i Traffic Enforcement Unit. Police ask that anyone who may have witnessed either collision or who has information about them, to contact Officer Jerome Duarte at 808-961-2339 or via email at [email protected]. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 808-961-8300.

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