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Kailua-Kona woman indicted in fatal Captain Cook crash

August 11, 2017 - 8:07am

KAILUA-KONA — A Kailua-Kona woman was indicted and officially charged with negligent homicide in connection to a fatal Captain Cook car crash last July.

The indictment against Matelita A. Taumoefolau was filed in 3rd Circuit Court on Tuesday. A bench warrant for her arrest was issued Thursday. Bail was set at $10,000.

According to court documents, on July 2, 2016, Taumoefolau caused the death of Jessica Uulopa by “the operation of a vehicle in a negligent manner while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.”

According to a press release from Hawaii Police Department, on July 2 Uulopa, 23, was the back-seat passenger in a 2009 Chrysler PT Cruiser that was being driven by Taumoefolau.

Police say they were traveling south on Puuhonua Road when the car ran off the west shoulder of the roadway, struck a lava rock wall and overturned. Uulopa was ejected into a lava field.

Police say Uulopa was taken to Kona Community Hospital where she was pronounced dead at 12:25 a.m. on July 3.

At the time, authorities say, speed, inattention and alcohol were believed to be factors in the crash.

Taumoefolau, 21 at the time, was arrested on suspicion of negligent homicide and operating vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant. However, she was released pending further investigation.

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