Police arrest suspect in fatal traffic crash

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Police have arrested a 22-year-old Pahoa man suspected to be the driver in a one-car crash that killed a 22-year-old woman Saturday night in Nanawale Estates.

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Police have arrested a 22-year-old Pahoa man suspected to be the driver in a one-car crash that killed a 22-year-old woman Saturday night in Nanawale Estates.

Gary A. Simpkins was arrested shortly after noon Sunday on 29th Avenue in Hawaiian Paradise Park. He was booked on suspicion of negligent homicide, negligent injury, failure to give information and aid, failure to notify authorities of an accident and leaving the scene of an accident. He was also booked on suspicion of first-degree assault in a separate case, and charged on an outstanding warrant for contempt of court.

Police say that at about 8:20 p.m., a Honda four-door sedan was driving west on Nanawale Boulevard just west of Donneybrook Lane when the driver lost control of the car, ran off the right side of the road and struck trees and two utility poles.

The victim, a rear seat passenger, was ejected from the car and died at the scene. She was identified late Monday afternoon by police as Shyla N. Medeiros-Dutton of Pahoa.

The front-seat passenger, a 24-year-old Pahoa man, was transported to the Hilo Medical Center by Fire Rescue personnel where he was treated and released.

Police believe speed and alcohol were factors in the crash.

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This death is the 7th official traffic fatality on the Big Island this year, the same as this time last year.

Anyone with information on this case is asked to call Officer Clarence Acob at 961-2293 or the police non-emergency number at 935-3311.

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