Kona woman killed in traffic crash, 19-year-old man arrested on suspicion of negligent homicide

A 63-year-old Kailua-Kona woman died Thursday night after a two-car collision that occurred at the intersection of Mamalahoa Highway (Highway 190) and Akina Place in North Kona.

The decedent has been positively identified as Rhonda Dee Freedman.


Officers responding to a 9:18 p.m. call determined that a white 2019 Nissan Rogue driven by a 19-year-old Kailua-Kona man, was heading south on Mamalahoa Highway when it crossed over the double solid yellow lines and struck head-on a white 2018 Nissan Versa driven by Freedman.

Freedman was taken to Kona Community Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 10:51 p.m.

The 19-year-old man driving the Nissan Rogue and his 17-year-old female passenger were not injured in the collision.

According to a police log, the Rogue’s driver, Trevor Shoemaker-Hassey, was arrested on suspicion of first-degree negligent homicide, DUI under 21, reckless driving, reckless endangering, fourth-degree sex assault, second-degree endangering the welfare of a minor and promoting dangerous compounds.

Police say Shoemaker-Hassey, who has not been charged with any of the alleged offenses, is being held at the Kealakehe Police Station while the investigation continues.

An autopsy on Freedman’s body has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.

Anyone who may have witnessed the collision is asked to contact Officer Len Hamakado at (808) 326-4646, ext. 229 or len.hamakado@hawaiicounty.gov. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at (808) 961-8300 in Hilo.

Freedman’s death is the 22nd official traffic fatality compared to 12 at this time last year.

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

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