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.

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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.

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Anyone who may have witnessed the crash should contact Officer Adam Roberg at (808) 326-4646, ext. 229, or email at adam.roberg@hawaiicounty.gov. 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.