Woman fatally electrocuted in Pahoa power line accident

A woman was fatally electrocuted in Pahoa Tuesday evening when power lines fell on a parked vehicle in Hawaiian Shores subdivision in Pahoa.

According to a Hawaii Police Department report, a vehicle fire was reported at 8:41 p.m. Tuesday, in connection with downed power lines near the intersection of Oopu Street and Kahakai Boulevard.

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Upon responding to the scene, officers determined that a man and a woman were seated in a parked vehicle on Oopu Street when a tree limb fell onto nearby power lines, causing the energized lines to fall, coming into contact with the vehicle’s roof and surrounding foliage.

With the downed lines arcing on the vehicle’s roof, the 58-year-old man escaped the vehicle by climbing out of a previously removed tailgate window. When the 59-year-old woman attempted to follow, she came into contact with a nearby galvanized gate while still touching the vehicle, electrocuting her.

The man attempted to extricate the woman but was thrown to the ground by the electric shock.

The woman was transported to Hilo Medical Center, where she was later pronounced dead. The man was treated at the scene for minor injuries.

The incident has been classified as a public accident and is being investigated by the Area I Criminal Investigation Section. A coroner’s inquest investigation has been initiated and an autopsy will be performed to determine the exact cause of death.

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The woman’s identity has been withheld pending notification of next of kin.

Any witnesses to the incident or anyone with any further information about the incident is asked to contact Lieutenant Rio Amon-Wilkins of the Area I Criminal Investigation Section at (808) 961-2252 or via email at rio.amon-wilkins@Hawaiicounty.gov or call the police department’s non-emergency line at (808) 935-3311.