By CHELSEA JENSEN
The mother of a 45-year-old Kawaihae resident killed Wednesday evening in a two-car crash in North Kona described her son as loving and musically inclined.
“He was a great, loving son,” said Kapaau resident Connie Green of her son, David Arbon, who she believes was shopping prior to the 8:23 p.m. crash. “We did have a lot of good times.”
Arbon was also a music lover who enjoyed not only listening to hard rock and metal but playing it as well with his electric guitar. Born in Salt Lake City, Arbon’s family moved in 1970 to the Big Island where he was raised, Green said. Arbon was not married and had no children.
“He loved music,” she said of the long-time Kohala Ranch Water Co. employee. “He wasn’t actively playing in a band, but just for fun.”
Arbon was a passenger in a northbound silver 2002 Chrysler PT Cruiser driven by a 44-year-old woman when it rear-ended a 2002 Chevrolet C7500 utility boom truck that was stopped about 300 yards north of Palani Road in the outside lane with workers changing burnt-out street lights, according to the Hawaii Police Department. The crash site is located on the mauka side of the highway, directly across from Eho Street.
At the time of the crash, the woman, later identified as Daphne Reeves of Kailua-Kona, was wearing a seat belt while Arbon was not restrained, according to police.
Both had to be extricated from the vehicle, said Hawaii Fire Department West Hawaii Battalion Chief Steve Loyola.
Medics transported Arbon in critical condition and Reeves, who suffered serious injuries, in urgent condition to Kona Community Hospital. Arbon died at 9:06 p.m., according to police.
Reeves was also arrested on suspicion of negligent homicide, driving under the influence of an intoxicant and inattention to driving, according to police. She was released pending investigation Thursday.
A 41-year-old Keaau man, who was standing outside the Leleiwi Electric Inc. boom truck, and a 53-year-old Hilo man, who was inside the raised boom bucket, were not injured.
Police say alcohol and speed appear to be contributing factors to the crash.
The fatal crash required the closure of northbound lanes on Queen Kaahumanu Highway at its intersection with Palani Road. The road reopened about 4:30 a.m. after Traffic Enforcement Unit officers wrapped up their investigation.
The state Department of Transportation, which controls the highway, contacted by West Hawaii Today with questions regarding signage and warning of the maintenance work responded with a prepared statement.
“The DOT is currently cooperating with the Hawaii County Police investigation. As it’s still an open criminal investigation, however, we won’t be commenting at this time,” the statement read.
This is the 17th traffic fatality on Hawaii Island this year compared with 14 at this time last year — an increase of 21 percent.
Arbon is survived by mother, Connie (Gary Sine) Green of Kapaau; father, Harold “Dave” Arbon of Maui; sister, Leilani (Sterling) Silver of Kapaau; and niece, Rose Silver of Kapaau.
Officers have initiated a negligent homicide investigation and have ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death. Anyone with information on the crash should call Officer Thomas Koyanagi at 326-4646, ext. 229.
Email Chelsea Jensen at firstname.lastname@example.org.