UPDATE: Hawaiʻi Island police arrest suspect in fatal traffic incident involving 88-year-old in Captain Cook
2:53 p.m. update: Hawai‘i Island police have arrested 63-year-old Ronald Smith Fitzwater of Captain Cook for negligent homicide and failure to render aid after an 88-year-old man from Hōnaunau died following a single-vehicle collision on Aug. 6 in Captain Cook.
Original post: Hawai‘i Island police are seeking the driver of a vehicle suspected to have been involved in a single-vehicle collision Sunday afternoon that resulted in the death of an 88-year-old man from Hōnaunau.
Police are looking for a white, 1999-2002 single-cab Chevrolet Silverado 1500 pickup truck with a black tube-type bed rack and a silver utility bed tool box.
According to a police report, officials responded to a 12:32 p.m. call where it was determined that Theodor Lai, Sr. was involved in a verbal argument in the parking lot with a man driving a white pickup truck.
As the truck was driving away, police said Lai was reported to have been yelling at the male driver and was possibly holding onto the truck. At some point, Lai was possibly run over by the unknown white pickup truck.
Witnesses at the scene were unable to get a clear description of the male driver.
The incident occurred in the 82-6000 block of Māmalahoa Highway in Captain Cook.
Police are asking for the public to check their video surveillance between 12:25 p.m. and 12:35 p.m. for any vehicles matching the description. The area of the traffic collision was near the intersection of Māmalahoa Highway and Kiloa Road (Kealakekua Ranch Center).
The pickup left the parking lot in an unknown direction.
Lai was transported to the Kona Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 1:43 p.m.
An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.
The Area II Traffic Enforcement Unit has initiated a negligent homicide investigation and is asking for anyone who may have witnessed the collision to contact Officer Dayson Taniguchi at 808-326-4646, ext. 229, or email at [email protected]. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 808-961-8300.