A man and a woman in a stolen car died in a two-car crash Thursday (August 4) on the Mohouli Extension near Kukuau Street in Hilo.
At 12:45 p.m., police received a call reporting an auto theft and possible kidnapping. The victim reported that his car had been stolen from Kekaulike Street in Downtown Hilo and that his friend had been asleep in the car before it was stolen.
Police made a traffic stop on the stolen vehicle at the intersection of Kaumana Drive and the Mohouli Extension. When the officer exited his vehicle and approached the stolen sedan, the sedan sped away, turning south onto the Mohouli Extension.
The officer returned to his car, followed the stolen vehicle, lost sight of it momentarily and then encountered two crashed sedans. A witness reported that the stolen car had crossed the center line, slid into the other sedan and then overturned.
A man and a woman in the stolen car were both dead at the scene. They have not yet been identified. An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.
The sole occupant of the other car, a 39-year-old Keaʻau woman, was taken to Hilo Medical Center in critical condition.
Police later learned that the owner’s male friend, who had been sleeping in the stolen car, had managed to jump out immediately after the male driver entered and took control of the vehicle.
The crash is being investigated by the Area I Traffic Enforcement Unit. The auto theft is being investigated by the Area I Criminal Investigations Section. An administrative review will also be conducted, as is standard policy in any police pursuit.
Police ask that anyone who witnessed the crash to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or contact Acting Lieutenant Grant Todd at 961-2385 or [email protected].
Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.