Kona man charged in connection to 8-car crash on Māmalahoa Highway

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A Kailua-Kona man facing a myriad of offenses following an eight-vehicle crash in Captain Cook was granted supervised release by a Kona District Court judge.

Kevin Bell, 35, was initially taken into custody Friday following the collision that occurred on Māmalahoa Highway near the Napo‘opo‘o Road intersection. At 10:38 a.m., Hawai‘i Island police dispatch received several reports of a red pickup truck driving recklessly. Minutes later, Kona patrol officers responded to a report of a crash near mile marker 108.

The driver of the truck, later identified as Bell, was driving south in the red Dodge full-sized pickup when he hit a 2016 Nissan sedan compact vehicle also traveling south on Māmalahoa Highway. The Nissan sedan was then forced into three parked vehicles on the west (makai) side of the highway. Two of the three parked vehicles were occupied.

After hitting the Nissan sedan, the Dodge truck overturned on its roof and slid, striking three more parked vehicles, all unoccupied, on the west (makai) side of Māmalahoa Highway, causing more than $70,000 in damage. The truck continued sliding south on the highway and then slid off a 15-foot embankment, where it came to a final resting point.


Five victims were transported to the Kona Community Hospital in stable condition. Bell was arrested and transported to the Kealakehe Police Station. While in police custody, he attempted to escape the detention facility but was stopped by officers.

“In the course of their investigation police determined that Bell’s actions were intentional and that his actions placed numerous bystanders in danger,” police stated in a press release Monday.

Bell was charged with the following offenses:

  • First-degree criminal property damage (recklessly placing a person in danger of death or bodily injury).
  • First-degree criminal property damage (value of the damage caused as a result of the collision).
  • First-degree negligent injury
  • Two counts of second-degree reckless endangering
  • Second-degree attempted escape
  • No motor vehicle insurance policy
  • Reckless driving

Bell was granted supervised release and is ordered to return to court for a preliminary hearing on March 21.

Anyone with information about this case is encouraged to contact Kona Patrol Officer Andrew Walters at the police department’s non-emergency number 808-935-3311 or via email at [email protected].

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