Hakalau woman dies in fatal crash


A 49-year-old Hakalau woman died Saturday from injuries she received in a two-vehicle crash on Akoni Pule Highway at mile marker 17 in the North Kohala District, according to the Hawaii Police Department.

The woman was identified as Theresa Doris Pacheco, of Hakalau, police said.

Responding to a 2:56 p.m. call, North Kohala patrol officers determined Pacheco was operating a 2003 Hyundai two door sedan and traveling south on Akoni Pule Highway when she came upon a 2013 Ford four door sedan also traveling south. Pacheco swerved to the right to avoid a rear-end collision but sideswiped the rear right corner of the Ford, police said.

The Hyundai then ran off the right side of the roadway and overturned. Pacheco was wearing a seatbelt, but was partially ejected, police said.

The driver of the Ford, a 62-year-old man from Atlanta, Ga., was not injured.

Pacheco was transported to the Kona Community Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 8:11 p.m.

Police said 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 ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.

Anyone with information about this case is asked to call Officer Larry Flowers at 326-4646, ext. 229.

This is the eighth traffic fatality on the Big Island this year compared to one at the same time last year.