An online funeral fundraiser for a 23-year-old woman killed in an early-morning collision Wednesday on Saddle Road has exceeded its goal.
As of mid-afternoon Monday, $7,350 had been raised on a GoFundMe page titled “Keslyn Espil Tulensru’s Funeral Funding.” The page, which is in its fourth of seven days online today, had a stated goal of $5,000.
Police identified Tulensru, a native of Kosrae, Federated States of Micronesia, who lived in Hilo, as the person who died in the crash, which occurred before 5 a.m. near the 21-mile marker, and closed down the Saddle, also known as Daniel K. Inouye Highway, for about six hours.
The Kosrae Hilo Community is asking friends of Keslyn, families of Keslyn, and everyone else who is able to help our cause in raising money to support the funeral service, the family of Keslyn, and sending of Keslyn Espil Tulensru back to Kosrae so that she may rest at her home,” the fundraising page states.
Alik Aden Jackson, who organized the fundraising page, posted on his Facebook page Friday: “As you rest between the two mountains of Big Island, may the Good Lord watch over your resting site. I love you, I miss you.”
“The link is still open to anyone who desires, and is able, to help,” Jackson said.
One poster on the fundraising page noted Tulensru’s mother “is dear to my heart.”
“I know no parent should have to go through this type of tragedy. May God be with the family,” the poster, Davis William, wrote.
Police said a 2015 Ford passenger van that carried Tulensru and eight others was traveling west when it crossed the center line and was sideswiped by an eastbound 2014 Kenworth fuel tanker towing a trailer.
Tulensru was one of three rear-seat passengers taken to Hilo Medical Center by ambulance.
The others, a 22-year-old Hilo man and a 23-year-old Keaau man were treated and released.
The tanker driver, a 48-year-old Hilo man, wasn’t injured.
Tulensru’s death was the 28th official traffic fatality this year compared to 30 at this time last year.
Police think speed was a factor, and are asking anyone who witnessed the crash to call Officer Erhard Autrata at 961-2339 or email: Erhard.Aurata@hawaiicounty.gov.
Donations are still being accepted at https://www.gofundme.com/keslyn-espil-tulensru039s-funeral-funding.
Email John Burnett at firstname.lastname@example.org.