Pedestrian killed in Kona hit and run

There’s been an early-morning pedestrian death on the Big Island for the second day in a row.

According to police, an unidentified man died this morning after being run over by a hit-and-run driver on Hualalai Road fronting the Kailua-Kona public library.

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Officers responding to a 12:51 a.m. call determined an unknown vehicle heading mauka on Hualalai Road when it struck the pedestrian in the right lane. According to police, the pedestrian was apparently lying in the roadway when he was run over.

The man was taken to Kona Community Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 4:07 a.m.

An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.

Police describe the victim as in his 30s, dark-complected, perhaps a Pacific islander, 5-foot-4 to 5-foot-6 and between 140-160 pounds. They are asking for for the public’s assistance in identifying the victim.

The suspect vehicle is thought to be a truck or sport-utility vehicle judging by the injuries the victim sustained.

A negligent homicide investigation has been opened.

The man’s death is the 10th this year compared to 11 at this time last year. It comes a day after a woman in her 60s was struck and killed by an SUV on Highway 130 early Wednesday morning near the corner of Kamaili Road in the Opihikao area of Puna.

While responding to the scene, emergency responders were attacked by a small dog that appeared to be attempting to protect the victim. The dog was picked turned over to the Hawaii Island Humane Society.

Both lanes of Highway 130 were closed at the Kamaili Road intersection for almost six hours, adversely affecting the morning rush hour commute.

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Police haven’t released the identity of the victim.

Anyone with information on either fatal crash is asked to call the police non-emergency number at 935-3311 or Crime Stoppers at 961-8300.

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