Big Island police arrest driver in single-vehicle crash that kil - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Big Island police arrest driver in single-vehicle crash that killed passenger

Hawaii Police Department (Image: Hawaii News Now/file) Hawaii Police Department (Image: Hawaii News Now/file)
CAPTAIN COOK, BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Big Island police arrested a 21-year-old driver involved in a single-vehicle crash in Captain Cook on Saturday night that killed her 23-year-old passenger.

Police said the crash happened around 8 p.m. on Puuhonua Road, north of Highway 160 and the 3-mile marker. Officers said the 2009 Chrysler PT Cruiser was traveling south when it ran off the west shoulder of the roadway, struck a lava rock wall and overturned, ejecting the passenger into a lava field.

The passenger, identified as Jessica E. Ulupoa, of Captain Cook, was taken to Kona Community Hospital where she was pronounced dead. Her exact cause of death is pending an autopsy.

Meanwhile, police arrested the driver, Matelita Taumoefolao, of Kailua-Kona, on suspicion of negligent homicide and operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant. She was released pending further investigation.

Police said speed, inattention and alcohol were factors in the crash.

Anyone with further information is asked to call CrimeStoppers at (808) 961-8300.

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