Saturday, Dec. 09, 2023|
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A 30-year-old Pahoa man who police say caused a three-car crash in Hilo last month that apparently killed an elderly Texas woman missed his court date Tuesday.
Mark E. Soto was charged with failure to appear. A bench warrant was issued and bail was set at $150.
Thelma J. McLamore, 88, of San Antonio, a back-seat passenger in a Ford involved in the crash, died March 21 at The Queen’s Medical Center in Honolulu.
The driver of the Ford, a 58-year-old woman from Pearland, Texas, was treated and released for her injuries at Hilo Medical Center.
The driver of a Nissan that crashed, a 49-year-old Hilo resident, wasn’t injured.
Soto was arrested at the scene and charged with DUI, driving after his license was suspended and driving without insurance. He was released from custody after posting $1,525 bail and was given the Tuesday court date.
The DUI charge apparently was later dropped, but Soto still faces the other charges, according to court records. A negligent homicide investigation was opened as a result of the collision.
Eight days before the fatal wreck, Soto pleaded no contest to DUI and driving with an improper driver’s license for an Oct. 26 arrest, according to court records. He was fined $500 for the DUI and $100 for the license charge and assessed a $100 DUI driver education fee, $60 in crime victim fees, a $25 neurotrauma surcharge and $7 driver education assessment fee.
He also was ordered to undergo substance abuse assessment and treatment. A charge of driving without insurance was dismissed as part of a plea deal.
Soto’s license was administratively suspended for a year after the October DUI and was suspended again for three years following the fatal crash, court records indicate.
Anyone who witnessed the crash is asked to call Officer Keith Nacis at 961-8119. Those who prefer anonymity can call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300.
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