KAILUA-KONA — The driver of an SUV that reportedly struck and killed an 18-year veteran of the Hawaii Fire Department last month has been indicted on charges of manslaughter and negligent homicide.
A Kona grand jury met Monday and indicted Christopher Raymond Helmlinger, 21, of Waimea, on charges of manslaughter and second-degree negligent homicide in connection with the May 22 multiple-car crash that took the life of David Mahon, a 49-year-old Kailua-Kona resident who had a lengthy career with the fire department.
A preliminary hearing set for Monday in Kona District Court is now moot, and the case will be heard by 3rd Circuit Court Judge Melvin H. Fujino in Kealakekua. As of press time Wednesday, no date had been set for Helmlinger to enter a plea to the charges.
Helmlinger remains out of police custody having previously posted bail of $100,000 two days after the fatal crash on Mamalahoa Highway, near the boundary of the North Kona and South Kohala districts.
Mahon, an 18-year veteran of the Hawaii Fire Department, who earlier this year became a fire captain in Hilo, died May 22 after the motorcycle he was riding colliding head-on with a white Honda Pilot SUV driven by Helmlinger near mile marker 14.
Police say Helmlinger was overtaking several southbound vehicles in a no-passing zone at the time of the morning crash. A third vehicle, a white Jeep Grand Cherokee, was also involved in the wreck. Neither Helmlinger nor the driver of the Jeep required medical attention.
Manslaughter is a class A felony punishable by up to 2o years imprisonment upon conviction, while second-degree negligent homicide is a class C felony that carries a potential five-year prison term.
Meanwhile, a GoFundMe page set up on Friday to support Mahon’s 10-year-old son, Dylan, has raised thousands of dollars in just over five days.
“Dylan’s Future Fund — In Loving Memory of Dave Mahon” as of 1:50 p.m. Wednesday had raised over $24,000 of its now-$35,000 goal.