Pedestrian killed in South Kohala crash

A 40-year-old Kailua-Kona woman died after being struck by a vehicle Sunday evening while crossing Queen Kaahumanu Highway in South Kohala.

The woman was identified Monday morning as Melissa Baker Heldele, according to the Hawaii Police Department.


Responding to a 8:25 p.m. call, police determined that a maroon 2010 Honda Ridgeline pickup truck was heading south on Queen Kaahumanu Highway when it struck the Heldele as she was crossing the highway about a tenth of a mile north of mile marker 68, police said. The area was not illuminated.

The driver of the Honda Ridgeline pickup truck, a 54-year-old Paauilo man, was not injured in the crash. Heldele was transported to the Kona Community Hospital where she was pronounced dead at 12:06 a.m.

Police do not believe that speed or impairment are factors in the collision.

An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.

Anyone who may have witnessed the crash should contact Officer Adam Roberg at (808) 326-4646, ext. 229, or email at Those who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at (808) 961-8300.

This is the second traffic fatality on Big Island public roads this year compared to zero at this time last year.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Star-Advertiser's TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email