Utility worker killed by falling pole in Paauilo

KAILUA-KONA — A 52-year-old Waikoloa man was killed Wednesday when a utility police fell on him in Paauilo.

Police, who are investigating the 10 a.m. incident as an industrial accident, said a utility company using a boom truck was replacing a utility pole on the shoulder of the highway near mile marker 35 when the accident occurred. Witnesses told police that as the pole was being positioned into place, the boom collapsed and the pole fell onto the victim, who was an employee of the utility company.

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Employees with the company were able to remove the pole as first responders arrived on scene, the Hawaii Police Department reported.

Police briefly closed the Hamakua bound lane of Highway 19 to conduct the investigation.

The victim was transported by medics to North Hawaii Community Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 10:49 a.m. His name is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

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Detectives with the Area I Criminal Investigation Section are continuing this investigation that has been classified as a coroner’s inquest. An autopsy is scheduled for Friday to determine the exact cause of death.

Anyone who may have information about his incident is asked to call the department’s nonemergency line at 935-3311 or Detective Jesse Kerr of the Area I Criminal Investigation Section at 961-2379 or Jesse.Kerr@hawaiicounty.gov.

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