87-year-old killed in Hilo moped crash

BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) - An 87-year-old Hilo man died Feb. 6 from injuries during a motor vehicle/scooter collision at the intersection of Komohana Street and Kukuau Street in Hilo.

The victim was identified as Walter R. Steiger of Hilo.

Police said at 1:20 p.m. Sunday, the victim was driving a 2009 Honda Metropolitan scooter and traveling west on Kukuau Street when he ran the stop sign and was broadsided a 2006 Nissan multi-purpose vehicle traveling north on Komohana Street.

The driver of the Nissan, a 51-year-old Hilo man, was not injured.

Fire rescue personnel took the Nissan passengers, a 41-year-old woman and a 9-year-old girl, to the  Hilo Medical Center, where they were treated for minor injuries and released.

They were all wearing their seat belts.

The scooter operator, who was wearing a helmet, was pronounced dead at Hilo Medical Center at 3 p.m.

It does not appear that alcohol, drugs or speed were involved in this crash.

Traffic Enforcement Unit officers have initiated a negligent homicide investigation and have ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.

Steiger is Professor Emeritus of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where he had served as the department chairman for a number of years.

Since retiring from UHM in 1980, he has served as the manager of the Science Center of the B.P. Bishop Museum in Honolulu until 1986, and from 1987 to 1992 as the site manager of the Caltech Submillimeter Observatory on Mauna Kea.

From 1982 to 1984 he served on the UH Board of Regents. Since 1993 he has been a lecturer in physics and astronomy at UH-Hilo.

Police ask that anyone with information about this crash call officer Clarence Davies at 961-8118.

This is the fourth traffic fatality on the Big Island this year compared with five at this time last year.

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