Police report 2 traffic fatalities

A pedestrian was killed late Wednesday night in what police are describing as a “hit-and-run incident” and a motorcyclist was killed in a two-vehicle crash Wednesday morning.

Both fatalities occurred in Puna.

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Officers responding to an 11:28 p.m. call determined the pedestrian, a man, was walking along Highway 137, 1/10 mile east of the Pahoa-Kalapana Road intersection, when he was struck by a vehicle that fled the scene.

The victim, whose identity hasn’t yet been released by police, was unresponsive at the scene and was pronounced dead at Hilo Medical Center at 3:37 a.m. this morning.

Police believe inattention and alcohol are factors in the crash.

In an earlier incident, police say 70-year-old Nolan Remmers of Pahoa died as a result of a collision between a passenger van and his motorcycle on Highway at the intersection of Makuu Drive in Hawaiian Paradise park.

Officers responding to a 9:30 a.m. call determined a 2003 Chevrolet passenger van was turning left from Makuu Drive onto Highway 130. Police say the van’s driver failed to yield to Remmers, who was riding a 2007 Suzuki motorcycle heading toward Keaau on Highway 130, and the motorcycle subsequently struck the driver’s side of the passenger van.

Remmers was taken to Hilo Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 11:36 a.m Wednesday.

The van’s driver, a 75-year-old Keaau man, was taken to Hilo Medical Center and admitted in stable condition.

Police believe inattention and misjudgment are factors in the crash.

Autopsies have been ordered on both victims and police have opened negligent homicide investigations into both collisions.

Anyone who may have witnessed either incident, or who has information on the identity of the driver in the hit-and-run crash, are asked to call the Traffic Enforcement Unit at 961-2339 or Crime Stoppers at 961-8300.

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The deaths are the second and third traffic fatalities of the year, compared to two fatalities at the same time last year.

Email John Burnett at jburnett@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

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