Pedestrian killed in South Kohala traffic crash

Police say a 40-year-old Kailua-Kona woman died after being struck by a pickup truck Sunday evening while trying to cross Queen Kaahumanu Highway in South Kohala.

The woman was identified as Melissa Baker Heldele.


Officers responding to a 8:25 p.m. call determined that a southbound maroon 2010 Honda Ridgeline pickup truck struck the Heldele as she was crossing the highway 0.1 miles north of the 68-mile marker. This portion of the highway is not illuminated.

Heldele was taken to the Kona Community Hospital where she was pronounced dead at 12:06 a.m. Monday.

The truck’s driver, a 54-year-old Paauilo man, was uninjured.

Police do not believe that speed or impairment are factors in the collision.

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

Heldele’s death is the second official traffic fatality this year compared to none at this time last year.

A negligent homicide investigation has been opened and police are asking anyone who may have witnessed the collision to contact Officer Adam Roberg at (808) 326-4646, extension 229 or

Those who prefer to anonymity may call Crime Stoppers at (808) 961-8300.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Star-Advertiser's TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email