Monday | October 23, 2017
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In brief | Big Island 092713

Captain Cook woman may have drowned

A 44-year-old Captain Cook resident apparently drowned Friday afternoon in waters off Kua Bay in North Kona.

Police and rescue personnel responded to a 2:12 p.m. report of an apparent drowning at the bay, according to the Hawaii Police Department. The victim was transported to Kona Community Hospital where she was pronounced dead at 3:24 p.m.

Police identified her as Carol Vandermyden. An autopsy has been ordered to determine the cause of death.

Bicyclist dies after collision with vehicle

A 66-year-old Puna man died Friday after the bicycle he was riding was struck by an out-of-control pickup truck on Highway 11 in Keaau.

The victim has been identified as Cenon Tranquilino A. Visaya of Keaau, according to the Hawaii Police Department. An autopsy has been ordered to determine the cause of death.

Visaya was riding a bicycle and headed northbound on Highway 11 near mile marker 8 when a southbound 2004 Dodge pickup truck driven by a 27-year-old Mountain View man apparently lost control, crossed the grassy median and struck Visaya, according to police. The truck was reportedly traveling at a high rate of speed.

The driver of the truck, identified as Siaiku L. Aholele, was transported to Hilo Medical Center where was treated for minor injuries and released. He was subsequently arrested on suspicion of first-degree negligent homicide and remains in police custody pending further investigation.

This is the 22nd fatality on public Big Island roads this year, compared with 30 at this time in 2012.

Anyone with information on the crash should call Officer Tuckloy Aurello at 961-8119.

Police investigating destruction of papaya trees

Big Island police have initiated a criminal property damage case in connection with the destruction of papaya trees at a farm in Puna.

Sometime between 5:30 p.m. Thursday and 6:30 a.m. Friday, 100 papaya trees were cut down in Kapoho off Highway 132 near mile marker 4. The trees were valued at $3,000, according to the Hawaii Police Department.

Anyone with information should call Officer Cala Arnold at 965-2716 or the department’s nonemergency line at 935-3311.

Police identify assault victim who left scene

Big Island police have identified the victim of an assault that resulted in a large deposit of blood left fronting a vacant establishment in Puna.

At 7:30 a.m. June 26, police responded to a report of blood discovered in an alcove fronting a closed business in Pahoa. After searching the neighboring area using a scent discriminating canine, police could not locate a victim or additional evidence.

On Aug. 26, detectives verified previously obtained information on the identity of the victim, who is a 60-year-old Pahoa man. He reported he had been in an altercation with an unidentified man in Pahoa and during the confrontation he had sustained a superficial head wound and did not seek treatment.

Anyone with information should call Detective Norbert Serrao at 961-2383 or email him at

Missing man found by park ranger

The missing 48-year-old man the U.S. Coast Guard and local police and fire personnel were searching for was located, Thursday.

Richard Gomez was found by a Hawaii Volcanoes National Park ranger after his boat broke up in the surf while attempting to come ashore Sunday.

The park ranger rendered basic first-aid to Gomez then assisted him to a campsite.

“Had the boater in this case carried a reliable form of communication such as a handheld VHF radio, rescuers may have been able to eliminate several unnecessary search hours that resources were diverted from other missions,” said Cmdr. Steve Wheeler, Sector Honolulu search and rescue mission coordinator.

Gomez departed Hilo in a small boat at 10 a.m. Sept. 20 and was reported missing by friends.

An HC-130 Hercules airplane crew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point and crew members from the 87-foot Coast Guard Cutter Kittiwake assisted in the search.

By local sources

Lopossa was Fire Dept. member in photographs

Hawaii Fire Department member Ryan Lopossa’s name was spelled incorrectly in photo captions on page 1A in Friday’s edition of West Hawaii Today.

It is the policy of West Hawaii Today to correct promptly any incorrect or misleading information when it is brought to the attention of the newspaper.