By Stephanie Salazar
Hilo’s Walter R. Steiger – a well known university astronomer – died from injuries he received in a motor vehicle vs. scooter collision at the intersection of Komohana Street and Kukuau Street.
Police say Steiger was operating a 2009 Honda Metropolitan scooter and traveling west on Kukuau Street when he failed to stop at the stop sign and broadsided a 2006 Nissan Multi-purpose vehicle traveling north on Komohana Street.
The driver of the Nissan, a 51-year-old Hilo man, was not injured.
Fire rescue personnel took the Nissan passengers, a 41-year-old woman and a 9-year-old girl, to Hilo Medical Center, where they were treated for minor injuries and released.
They were all wearing their seat belts.
Steiger retired from UH-Manoa in 1980 but was still a lecturer at the University of Hawaii – Hilo. Before that, he was manager of the Science Center of the Bishop Museum in Honolulu, site manager of the Caltech Submillimeter Observatory on Mauna Kea, and from 1982 to 1984 he served on the UH Board of Regents.
Steiger was wearing a helmet. Still, he was pronounced dead at Hilo Medical Center at 3 p.m.
It does not appear that alcohol, drugs or speed were involved in this crash, police say.
Traffic Enforcement Unit officers have initiated a negligent homicide investigation and have ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.
Police ask that anyone with information about this crash call Officer Clarence Davies at 961-8118.