UPDATE (Jan. 2) – The Hawaiʻi County Police Department issued this media release on the crash:
A 42-year-old Kamuela woman died following a single-vehicle collision on Wednesday (January 1, 2020) on Kawaihae Road near the intersection of Puu Opelu Road.
The 42-year-old female has been identified as Sylvia Elizabeth Ravaglia.
Responding to a 3:08 p.m. call, police determined that a 34-year-old male from Honokaʻa was operating a gray 1990 Toyota pickup truck when he crossed the double solid yellow line and struck the pedestrian on the shoulder of the westbound (Makai) lane. The 42-year-old female was transported to the Kona Community Hospital, where she was later pronounced dead at 7:44 p.m. (January 1, 2020).
The driver of the Toyota pickup was not injured in the collision. He was later arrested for Negligent Homicide. He is currently being held at the Kona Cellblock.
Police do not believe that alcohol was a factor in the collision.
An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.
After conferring with prosecutors, at 9:45 p.m., (January 1, 2020), Area II Traffic Enforcement Officers charged Jesse Speetjens with Negligent Homicide in the 2nd Degree. His bail was set at $2,000. Speetjens remains in police custody pending his initial court appearance scheduled for today, Thursday, (January 2, 2020).
The Area II Traffic Enforcement Unit is asking for anyone who may have witnessed the collision to contact Officer Jason Foxworthy at (808) 326-4646 ext. 229.
This is the 1st traffic fatality this year compared to 0 at this time last year.
UPDATE (8 p.m.) – Kawaihae Road between Puʻu Opelu Rd and Opelo Road in Waimea is now open, police report.
(BIVN) – Hawaiʻi Police Department reported a vehicle collision that occurred in Waimea on Wednesday, closing Kawaihae Road between Opelo Road and Puʻu Opelu Road.
The Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense issued a message at 4 p.m., saying:
- Kawaihae Road is closed in both directions near the 58 and 59 Mile Markers between Opelo Road and Puu Opelu Road.
- Expect delays for the next several hours.
- A single lane detour has been established at Opelo Road and Laelae Road.
- Police are asking motorist to avoid this area for the next several hours and to use alternate routes at this time.
This is a breaking news story that will be updated.