Sunday | January 22, 2017
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Man killed in traffic accident


Tribune-Herald staff writer

A 29-year-old man died Sunday after he jumped or fell out of a vehicle on 29th Avenue in Hawaiian Paradise Park.

Beke Robert Jr. was injured some time before 2:40 a.m. when he exited and was run over by the 2000 Ford Explorer he was riding in as it backed out of a private driveway, according to a Hawaii Police Department release.

Robert was transported to Hilo Medical Center by Fire Rescue personnel and later died at 3:42 a.m.

The driver of the Explorer, 33-year-old Sonny D. Kalawe, was arrested for negligent homicide in the first degree, operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant, driving without insurance, inattention to driving, and driving without a license.

He was being held in the East Hawaii Detention Center on Sunday afternoon as police continued their investigation into the incident.

The release added that Traffic Enforcement Unit officers had ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.

Anyone with information regarding the incident was asked to contact Officer Tuckloy Aurello at 961-8119.

Because the accident occurred in a private subdivision, the police department does not count the death as part of its official fatality count.

Alcohol has been involved in at least 16 of the 37 official traffic deaths so far this year, or 43 percent. By comparison, 11 of the 23 official fatalities recorded in 2011, or 48 percent, involved alcohol use. Police are operating islandwide DUI checkpoints during the holiday season as part of a national and statewide campaign called “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.” It will run through New Year’s Day.

Email Colin M. Stewart at


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