Driver who allegedly damaged graves released

Police say they released the driver of a vehicle that hit more than a dozen grave markers at Alae Cemetery pending further investigation.

A police spokesman said 24-year-old Caitlin Peil of Hilo was detained but released without being charged.

Peil allegedly drove off Highway 19 while in the Hamakua-bound lane and hit approximately 15 headstones on Dec. 20.

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The grave markers belong to families and are not owned by the Hawaii County Department of Parks and Recreation, which runs the cemetery.

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The department is connecting families to the driver’s insurance carrier for compensation.

A man whose family’s headstone was damaged said he’s been advised that the insurance might not cover the entire cost of replacing the markers.