A 1-year-old Kailua-Kona boy died after being hit by a car Saturday evening (October 10) in the parking lot of Kahaluʻu Housing in Kailua-Kona.
He was identified as Benwa Benjimon.
Responding to a 7:54 p.m. call, police determined that a white 1996 Chevrolet Suburban had been traveling south in the parking lot in an attempt to reverse into a parking stall. Benwa was standing in front of the Suburban as it pulled forward, causing critical injuries.
Benwa was taken to Kona Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 9:37 p.m.
The operator of the vehicle, 38-year-old Benjimon Gideon of Kailua-Kona, was arrested and later released pending further investigation.
Traffic Enforcement Unit officers have initiated a negligent homicide investigation and have ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.
Police ask anyone who witnessed the crash to call Officer Justin Hooser at 326-4646, Ext. 229. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo.
Because this crash occurred in a private parking lot, the death is not counted toward the official traffic fatality count.