In Brief | Big Island | 1-07-14


1,348 drunken driving arrests made in 2013

Big Island police made 1,348 suspected drunken driving arrests last year, compared with 1,477 in 2012.

Of the arrests made last year, 596 were in Kona, 431 in South Hilo, 173 in Puna, 87 in South Kohala, 22 in Hamakua, 22 in Ka’u, nine in North Hilo and eight in North Kohala, according to the Hawaii Police Department.

There were 308 drivers arrested for driving under the influence of an intoxicant who were involved in traffic accidents in 2013, compared with 352 in 2012, a decrease of 12.5 percent.

There were 123 drivers arrested for driving under the influence of an intoxicant who were under the age of 21 in 2013, compared with 104 in 2012, an increase of 18.3 percent.

There were 1,326 major accidents in 2013, compared with 1,466 in 2012, a decrease of 9.5 percent.

There were 25 fatalities on Hawaii Island, compared with 38 fatalities in 2012, a decrease of 34.2 percent.

Thirteen fatalities in 2013 were related to drugs only (5), alcohol only (2), or a combination of both (6), compared with 28 fatalities in 2012 related to drugs only (12), alcohol only (4), or a combination of both (12).

Keaau woman dies in accident on Route 130

A 53-year-old Keaau woman died Saturday from injuries she suffered in a two-vehicle collision on Route 130, just south of the Route 139 intersection in Keaau, according to the Hawaii Police Department.

Responding to an 8:28 p.m. call, Puna patrol officers determined the woman was operating a 2001 Mercury four-door sedan and traveling north on Route 130 when she crossed the center median and collided with a 1999 Mercedes Benz multipurpose vehicle traveling south.

Fire rescue personnel took the Mercedes driver, a 56-year-old Keaau woman, and her 23-year-old daughter to Hilo Medical Center.

The Mercury driver was pronounced dead at 11:26 p.m. at Hilo Medical Center. The name of the woman who died is being held pending notification of the next of kin, police said. Traffic Enforcement Unit officers have initiated a negligent homicide investigation and have ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.

All occupants were wearing their seat belts. It does not appear that alcohol or drugs were involved, but speed was a factor in the crash, police said.

Anyone with information regarding this crash should call Officer Casey Cabral at 961-8889.

This is the first traffic fatality on the Big Island this year, police said.

Two men wanted for police questioning

Big Island police are looking for two men, known to frequent West Hawaii, who are wanted on warrants and for questioning.

Kainoa Namaka Black, 25, is wanted on a bench warrant for contempt of court. He is also wanted for questioning in an unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle case, according to the Hawaii Police Department.

Black is described as being 5-foot-6, weighing 145 pounds, and having short black hair, brown eyes and a missing front tooth. He has no permanent address, but frequents the Kona and South Kohala districts. He may be operating a tan 2004 Mazda pickup truck, with license plate HEB179.

Chad Simmerman, 36, who has no permanent address but frequents the South Kohala and Kona areas, is wanted on a bench warrant for contempt of court. He is also wanted for questioning in connection with violation of order and criminal property damage investigations, police said.

Simmerman is described as being about 5-foot-9, weighing 145 pounds, and having brown eyes and light brown or blond shoulder-length hair.

Anyone with information on their whereabouts should not to approach them, but to call the police department’s nonemergency line at 935-3311. Those who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 329-8181 in Kona or 961-8300 in Hilo and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000