Man charged in Kalaoa accident that killed 3-year-old boy


Big Island police have charged 38-year-old Pedro Peter of Kailua-Kona with 10 offenses in connection with a motor vehicle accident that killed a 3-year-old boy Wednesday in Kalaoa.
Peter was charged Friday evening with manslaughter, driving without a license, failure to have no-fault insurance, four counts of failure to have a child restraint and three counts endangering the welfare of a minor, according to the Hawaii Police Department. He is being held at the Kona police cellblock on $52,125 bail pending an initial court appearance slated for Monday.

The child, identified as Joel Peter, died at 6:43 p.m. after he was apparently run over by a pickup truck driven by Pedro Peter, near the Matsuyama Food Mart driveway off Mamalahoa Highway, according to the Hawaii Police Department. The father unknowingly struck the youngster who had fallen out of the truck’s cab.

Police determined that the boy’s sister apparently thought their father had parked the truck and subsequently opened the rear passenger door, at which time the boy fell out of the vehicle. The father, not knowing his son was outside the truck, continued up the driveway and ran over the child, according to police.

Pedro Peter then drove his son to Kona Community Hospital, which was the first entity to contact emergency officials about the incident, according to police.

Pedro Peter, his 32-year-old wife and three girls, ages 4, 4 and 6, who were in the cab, as well as two male relatives in the truck’s bed were not injured, according to police.

Pedro Peter was arrested Wednesday evening by police on suspicion of negligent homicide, driving without a license, failure to have no-fault motor vehicle insurance and four counts of failure to use child passenger restraints, according to police.

He was also arrested on an outstanding warrant for failure to appear, according to police.

The death was the first fatality recorded on Big Island roads in 2013 compared with no deaths at the time last year, according to police. In all of 2012, there were 38 lives lost on Big Island roads — the deadliest year on record since 2004.