Hilo man charged in crash that critically injured motorcyclist

  • Joshua Manzano-Hill

A 48-year-old Hilo man is facing negligent injury, drunken driving and drug offenses following a Thursday crash that left a motorcyclist critically injured.

Responding to an 8:28 p.m. report of a collision at the intersection of Mamalahoa Highway (Highway 19) and Hau Street in the Wainaku area of Hilo, Hawaii Police Department investigators determined that a 2013 Toyota Tacoma pickup truck, being operated by Joshua Manzano-Hill, made a left turn from Hau Street onto the highway, causing a 2005 Honda motorcycle traveling Hilo bound on Highway 19 to collide with the rear driver’s side of the truck.

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At the time of the collision it was raining and the roadway was wet, according to police.

The 39-year-old man operating the motorcycle was transported to Hilo Medical Center and later to The Queen’s Medical Center on Oahu in stable but critical condition.

Manzano-Hill, who not injured in the collision, was arrested at the scene for operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant.

He was transported to the Hilo police station as police continued the investigation. In the course of the investigation, police executed a search warrant on his Toyota Tacoma, at which time police allegedly observed and recovered multiple alcohol containers, cocaine, and marijuana from the vehicle he was driving at the time of the collision.

Manzano-Hill was charged on Friday with first-degree negligent injury, operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant, third-degree promoting a dangerous drug and third-degree promoting a detrimental drug. His bail was set at $31,000.

Police obtained a search warrant for the truck and allegedly found 1.6 grams of cocaine and 0.8 grams of marijuana.

Manzano-Hill made his initial court appearance Monday, and Hilo District Judge Jeffrey Hawk denied a defense request to free Manzano-Hill on court-supervised release without cash bail being posted.

Hawk maintained Manzano-Hill’s bail at $31,000 and ordered him to return Wednesday for a preliminary hearing.

Manzano-Hill remains in custody at Hawaii Community Correctional Center.

According to court records, in a deal with prosecutors, Manzano-Hill pleaded guilty in 2017 to second-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, a Class B felony that carries a maximum 10-year prison term upon conviction. In return for his plea, charges of marijuana possession and drug paraphernalia were dropped.

Manzano-Hill was sentenced to a four-year probation term and a year in jail, with nine months of the jail term suspended. Judge Henry Nakamoto granted a deferral of Manzano-Hill’s guilty plea, and the felony drug conviction was wiped from the record.

In addition, Manzano-Hill was twice convicted of drunken driving, in 2007 and 2014.

Anyone who may have witnessed the collision should contact Officer Jared Cabatu at (808) 961-2339 or via email Jared.Cabatu@HawaiiCounty.gov. Those who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at (808) 961-8300.

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