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Man indicted in son’s death


Stephens Media

A 38-year-old man has been indicted on manslaughter and other charges stemming from a Jan. 9 Kalaoa accident in which police say he ran over his 3-year-old son.

Pedro Johanes Peter was indicted by a Big Island grand jury on Jan. 29 on charges of manslaughter, driving without a license, failure to have no-fault motor vehicle insurance, four counts of failure to have a child restraint and three counts second-degree endangering the welfare of a minor in connection with the accident, according to 3rd Circuit Court records. A $52,100 bench warrant accompanied the indictment.

A court clerk for 3rd Circuit Court Judge Ronald Ibarra, who will oversee the case, said an arraignment and plea hearing had yet to be set for Peter.

The indictment contains the same charges police filed against Peter on Jan. 11. A preliminary hearing in 3rd Circuit District Court shortly thereafter was delayed because a court interpreter had been part of the police investigation. The hearing was slated to resume Feb. 12.

The child, identified as Joel Peter, died at 6:43 p.m. Jan. 9 after he was apparently run over by a pickup truck driven by Pedro Peter, near the Matsuyama Food Mart driveway off Mamalahoa Highway, according to the Hawaii Police Department. The father unknowingly struck the youngster who had fallen out of the truck’s cab, police said.

Police determined the boy’s sister apparently thought their father had parked the truck and subsequently opened the rear passenger door, at which time the boy fell out of the vehicle. The father, not knowing his son was outside the truck, continued up the driveway and ran over the child, according to police.

Pedro Peter then drove his son to Kona Community Hospital, which was the first entity to contact emergency officials about the incident, according to police.

Pedro Peter, his 32-year-old wife and three girls, ages 4, 4 and 6, who were in the cab, as well as two male relatives in the truck’s bed were not injured, according to police. He was subsequently arrested in connection with the accident as well as on an outstanding warrant for failure to appear.

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