Hilo man struck by vehicle dies; driver charged

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A Pāhoa woman is facing negligent homicide charges after fatally striking a pedestrian with her vehicle over the weekend.

The accident occurred in Hilo, on Saturday evening on East Kawili Street just east of Manono Street. Hawai‘i Island police responded to the incident at 8:18 p.m.

Through the course of their investigation, officers learned that a 2006 Honda SUV, driven by Sienna Tavares-Brown, was traveling east on East Kawili Street, struck a pedestrian and proceeded to leave the scene, continuing toward Kanoelehua Avenue.

The Honda then made a right turn onto Kanoelehua and struck a pedestrian crossing signal prior to heading southbound. Shortly after, the Honda was located at the intersection of Kanoelehua Avenue and Kawailani Street.


The pedestrian, identified as Eric Mabuni, 57, of Hilo, was found unresponsive at the scene. He was transported to Hilo Medical Center and then flown to Queen’s Medical Center due to the severity of his injuries.

Mabuni ultimately succumbed to his injuries at the Honolulu hospital and was pronounced deceased at 3:26 p.m. on Monday. An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.

Tavares-Brown, 25, of Pāhoa, was not injured as a result of the collision. She was initially arrested for first-degree negligent injury and operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant.


There were two juvenile passengers in the Honda SUV at the time of collision. They were not injured.

Both passengers were determined to be related to the operator and have been released to family members.

The East Hawai‘i Traffic Enforcement Unit responded to the scene and continued the investigation. After conferring with the East Hawai‘i County Prosecutors Office, authorities charged Tavares-Brown with the following offenses:

  • First-degree negligent homicide
  • Operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant
  • Operating a vehicle after license revoked for OVUII
  • Leaving the scene of an accident involving death
  • Leaving the scene of an accident involving damage to property
  • 2 counts of second-degree reckless endangering
  • 2 counts of child passenger restraints

Bail has been set at $158,000 and Tavares-Brown is currently being held at the Hilo Police Station pending her initial court appearance today.

If anyone has additional information regarding this collision they may contact Officer Jerome Duarte at 808-961-2339, or via email at [email protected].

This is the 15th traffic fatality of 2024 to date, compared to six traffic fatalities this time last year.

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