20 year old Hilo woman dies in Queen Kaahumanu crash

KONA, Hawaii: A 20-year-old Hilo woman was killed on Friday in Kona, as the frightening number of fatal crashes on the Big Island continues to increase.

Christine C.R. Laeda was killed in a two-vehicle crash on Queen Kaʻahumanu Highway at the 91-mile marker in North Kona, according to police.

Laeda was a back seat passenger in the 2005 Toyota four-door sedan being driven by 20-year-old Tiana Sagapolutele-Silva of Hilo. Police say it shortly before midnight when Silva tried to pass a 2006 Chrysler four-door sedan on the highway, but struck the rear corner of the sedan, lost control, ran off the right side of the road, and overturned.

Laeda was ejected from the vehicle. Rescue crews took Silva and three other passengers – a 19-year-old Hilo woman and two Kea‘au women, ages 22 and 20 — to Kona Community Hospital, where they were treated and released with minor injuries.

Laeda was also taken to Kona Community Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 2:47 a.m.

Those inside the Chrysler were not injured.

Silva, the driver of the Toyota, was arrested for negligent homicide, operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant, open vessel, prohibition involving minor and negligent injury.

She was released pending further investigation.

Police count this as the 20th traffic fatality on the Big Island this year, far outpacing the total of 12 at this time last year.

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