Police ID man killed in Puna crash

KAILUA-KONA — Police on Wednesday identified the man killed in a single-vehicle traffic crash Monday on Highway 130 in Puna.

He was identified as 59-year-old Kenneth “Key” Mepham Jr. of Kalapana, according to the Hawaii Police Department.

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Police say Mepham was driving a Pahoa-bound 1998 Isuzu SUV on Kaimu-Chain of Craters Road and onto Highway 130 when he apparently lost control of the vehicle and it rolled several times near mile marker 21.

Mepham was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected from the vehicle, according to police. He was taken to the Hilo Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 4:53 p.m. Monday

Speed said appeared to be a factor in the crash. An autopsy was ordered to determine the exact cause of death.

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Mepham’s death marks the 11th traffic fatality on Hawaii Island public roads this year compared with 15 at the same time last year.

Anyone who witnessed the crash should contact Officer Keith Nacis at 961-2339 or email Keith.Nacis@hawaiicounty.gov.

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