Pedestrian is first traffic fatality of 2020

Police have charged a 34-year-old Honokaa man with second-degree negligent homicide in the first traffic fatality of 2020.

Bail for Jesse Speetjens was set at $2,000 and he remains in police custody pending his initial appearance today in Kona District Court.

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According to police, 42-year-old Sylvia Elizabeth Ravaglia of Waimea was walking along the shoulder of the makai lane of Kawaihae Road near the intersection of Puu Opelu Road when gray 1990 Toyota pickup truck driven by Speetjens crossed a double-solid yellow line and struck her at about 3:08 p.m. Wednesday.

Ravaglia was taken to Kona Community Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 7:44 p.m.

Speetjens was uninjured.

Police do not believe that alcohol was a factor in the collision and an autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.

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Ravaglia’s death is the first traffic fatality of the year compared to none at the same time last year.

Witnesses to the collision are asked to call Officer Jason Foxworthy at 326-4646 ext. 229, or Crime Stoppers at 961-8300.

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