Big Island Police Asking Public’s Help Finding Information About Recent Fires

The Hawaiʻi Police Department is asking for the public’s help in identifying anyone who may have information about the cause of half a dozen recent suspicious fires over the past two weeks.

The fires were located south of Puʻuanahulu along Hawaiʻi Belt Road, also known as Route 190, in the areas between the Daniel K. Inouye Highway (New Saddle Road) and the 14-mile marker.

Waikoloa Fire
Last Monday (November 25) at approximately 3:33 p.m., police and firefighters responded to a report of a brush fire on the mauka side of Hawaiʻi Belt Road in the area of the 14-mile marker in Kona. Upon arrival, they discovered that the fire had spread north from the mauka side of the roadway toward the Daniel K. Inouye Highway, approximately four miles east and approximately two miles south along Hawaiʻi Belt Road.

Last Tuesday (November 26) at 3:54 p.m., police and firefighters responded to a report of a brush fire on the mauka side of Hawaiʻi Belt Road in the area of the 16-mile marker in the area of Puʻuanahulu. Upon arrival, they discovered that the fire had spread from the mauka side of the roadway and headed south in the direction of the Puu Lani Ranch subdivision, burning approximately 150 acres of vacant land.

As emergency personnel were working to extinguish that fire, another brush fire was reported in the area of the 23-mile marker, also on Hawaiʻi Belt Road. Fire personnel were able to quickly extinguish that fire, which burned approximately a quarter of an acre.

Last Thursday (November 28) at 5:50 a.m., police and firefighters responded to a report of a brush fire on the mauka side of Hawaiʻi Belt Road in the area of the 16-mile marker in the area of Puʻuanahulu. Upon arrival, emergency personnel were able to extinguish that fire, which burned an undetermined amount of vacant land.

This Monday (December 2) at 4:23 p.m., police and firefighters responded to a report of a brush fire on the makai side of Hawaiʻi Belt Road in the area of the 24-mile marker in the area of Puʻuanahulu. Upon arrival, emergency personnel were able to extinguish that fire, which burned approximately 2,000 square feet of vacant land.

This Wednesday (December 4) at 6:28 a.m., police and firefighters responded to a report of a brush fire on the mauka side of Hawaiʻi Belt Road in the area of the 17-mile marker in the area of Puʻuanahulu. Upon arrival, emergency personnel were able to extinguish that fire, which burned approximately 4,800 square feet of vacant land.

No structures have been damaged nor were any in close proximity to any of the fires. The total extent of the burned property has yet to be determined.

Detectives with the Area II Criminal Investigations Section, along with Hawaiʻi County fire inspectors, have deemed the fires as suspicious in nature and continue to investigate their cause.

The Hawaiʻi Police Department asks members of the public who frequent Hawaiʻi Belt Road, especially in the areas between the Daniel K. Inouye Highway and the 24-mile marker, to be aware of the recent fires and to report any suspicious activity in the area immediately to police at 935-3311. In addition, anyone with any information about the cause of the fires is encouraged to contact Detective Levon Stevens, at 326-4646, extension 275, or lstevens@co.hawaii.hi.us.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

 

Public Informational Meeting Scheduled for Saddle Road Extension Project

The state Department of Transportation (DOT) has scheduled a public informational meeting to brief the community on the environmental impact statement (EIS) for the proposed Saddle Road Extension Project. The meeting will be held at the following location and time:

Thursday, June 14, 2012, 6 to 8 p.m., Waikoloa Elementary & Middle School, 68-1730 Ho‘oko Street, Waikoloa, HI 96738

The proposed project will extend Saddle Road from Mamalahoa Highway to Queen Kaahumanu Highway. The extension project will improve efficiency of traffic movement between East and West Hawaii, improve safety, and support the needs of commercial truck and military traffic.

The comment period for the EISPN/EA extends to June 22, 2012. Please send comments to Geometrician Associates, P.O. Box 396, Hilo, HI 96721, Attention: Ron Terry; with copies to the Hawaii Department of Transportation, 869 Punchbowl St., Room 301, Honolulu, HI 96813, Attention: Dean Yanagisawa.

For more information or to request language interpretation, an auxiliary aid or service (i.e., sign language interpreter, accessible parking, or materials in alternative format), please contact Lennie Okano-Kendrick, Okahara and Associates, at (808) 961-5527, three (3) days prior to the meeting date.

Mt. View Man Dies from Injuries Sustained in a Two Vehicle Crash

A 28-year-old Mountain View man died Friday (April 6) from injuries he sustained in a two vehicle crash on the Hawaii Belt Road (Route 11) in the area of the 13th mile-marker.

The man was identified as Waimoku T. Lum Ho of a Mt. View address.

Responding to a 1:27 a.m. call, Puna patrol officers determined that Lum Ho was operating a 1995 Chevrolet pick-up truck and traveling south on Route 11 when he rear-ended a 2009 Dodge Ram flatbed truck also traveling south.

The driver of the Dodge, a 39-year-old Volcano man was not injured.

Lum Ho was transported to the Hilo Medical Center by Fire Rescue personnel where he was pronounced dead at 2:50 a.m.

Lum Ho was not wearing a seatbelt.

It is unknown at this time if alcohol or drugs were involved but speed was a factor in this crash.

Traffic Enforcement Unit officers have initiated a negligent homicide investigation and have ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.

Anyone with information is asked to call Officer Paul Kim at 961-2332.

This is the 9th traffic fatality on the Big Island this year compared to 6 at the same time last year.

Baby From Japan Dies in Car Crash on Hawaii Belt Road

A 6-month-old boy from Japan died Thursday (February 23) from injuries he received in a one-vehicle crash on Hawaiʻi Belt Road (Route 11), .3 miles northeast of the 48-mile marker in the Kapapala area of the Kaʻū District.

The victim was identified as Yuta Suzuki of Shiyonawate, Japan.

Responding to a 5:10 p.m. call, Kaʻū patrol officers determined that the father of the boy, a 36-year-old man from Japan, had been operating a 2011 Dodge van and traveling south on Hawaiʻi Belt Road when he ran off the right side of the road and overturned.

The driver and two passengers, a 37-year-old man and a 39-year-old woman, were taken to the Ka’u Hospital.  The driver and the male passenger were treated and released with minor injuries.  The woman was later transferred to Hilo Medical Center for further evaluation.

Fire/Rescue personnel took the 6-month-old boy, his  28-year-old mother, a 30-year-old female passenger and another female passenger, age unknown, to Hilo Medical Center.

The baby was pronounced dead at 7:55 p.m. at Hilo Medical Center.

The mother was treated and released. The the other two women were confined in serious condition.

All the adults were wearing their seat belts.  The baby was not in his car seat at the time of the crash.

Traffic Enforcement Unit officers have initiated a negligent homicide investigation and have ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.

This is the third traffic fatality on the Big Island this year compared with five at this time last year.

25 Year-Old Dies in a Two-Vehicle Crash in Kamuela

Media Release:

A 25-year-old Waimea man died Wednesday (July 27) from injuries he received in a two-vehicle crash on Kawaihae Road (Route 19) .4 miles west of the 63-mile marker in Kamuela.

The driver was identified as Isaiah Lindsey of a Kamuela address.

Responding to a 5:44 p.m. call, South Kohala patrol officers determined that Lindsey was operating a 1988 Ford multi-purpose vehicle and traveling east on Kawaihae Road when he crossed the centerline and collided with a 2010 Toyota pickup truck traveling east and being operated by a 27-year-old woman from Kamuela.

Both drivers and a 31-year-old woman from Kamuela, who was a passenger in the Ford, were taken to North Hawaii Community Hospital.

Lindsey was pronounced dead at 6:32 p.m.

The female passenger was in serious condition and confined to North Hawaii Community Hospital.

The driver of the Toyota was treated and released with minor injuries.

Lindsey was not wearing a seat belt. It is unknown at this time if speed, alcohol or drugs were involved.

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 Thomas Koyanagi at 326-4646, extension 229.

This is the 15th traffic fatality on the Big Island this year compared with 18 at this time last year.

Another Fatality Reported on Big Island Highways

Media Release:

A 41-year-old Hilo man died Sunday (July 24) from injuries he sustained in a two-vehicle crash on the Hawai’i Belt Road (Route 19) .5 miles north of the 11-mile marker in Pepe’ekeo.

Responding to a 9:41 p.m. call, South Hilo Patrol and Traffic Enforcement Unit officers determined that the man who died was operating a 1996 Infinity four-door sedan and traveling north on the Hawai’i Belt Road when he crossed the centerline and collided with a 2005 Honda multi-purpose vehicle traveling south.

Fire Rescue personnel took the driver of the Infinity and the driver of the Honda, a 43-year-old Hilo man, and his passengers, all females, ages 44, 18, 13 and 4, to Hilo Medical Center.

The driver of the Infinity was pronounced dead at 10:35 p.m. He was not wearing a seat belt.

The occupants of the Honda were all being treated for minor injuries.

It is unknown at this time if speed was involved but alcohol was a factor in this crash.

Traffic Enforcement Unit officers have initiated a negligent homicide investigation and have ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.

This is the 14th traffic fatality on the Big Island this year compared with 18 at this time last year.