Kona toddler killed after falling from father's pickup truck

Pedro Peter
Pedro Peter

KAILUA-KONA, HAWAII (HawaiiNewsNow) - A 3-year-old boy died Wednesday from injuries he received after he fell out of the cab of a pickup truck and then was run over on the shoulder area leading to the driveway of a retail establishment off Route 190 on the 73-4000 block in Kalaoa, North Kona, police say.

The boy was identified as Joel Peter of a Kailua-Kona address.

Police received a call around 6:40 p.m. from Kona Community Hospital reporting the crash.

The driver of the truck, 38-year-old Pedro Peter, drove the boy to the hospital, where the child was pronounced dead at 6:43 p.m.

The driver's 32-year-old wife and three girls, ages 4, 4 and 6, who were in the cab, as well as two male relatives who were in the bed of the truck, were not injured.

Investigation revealed that the boy's sister thought their father had parked the truck. She opened the rear passenger door, at which time the boy fell out.

The father, not knowing that the boy had fallen out, continued up the driveway and ran over the child.

Traffic Enforcement Unit officers arrested Peter on suspicion of negligent homicide, no operator's license, no no-fault insurance and four counts of child restraints.  He was also arrested for an outstanding warrant for failure to appear.

Police do not suspect speed, alcohol or drugs to be factors in this crash.

An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.

Police are looking for anyone who was in the vicinity of Matsuyama Store between 6 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Wednesday and may have witnessed the incident. Police ask any witnesses to call Officer Thomas Koyanagi at 326-4646, ext. 229. 

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