Woman charged in fatal crash


BY CHELSEA JENSEN

STEPHENS MEDIA

A 26-year-old Kailua-Kona woman has been charged with negligent homicide stemming from a 2009 fatal crash at the Kuakini Highway and Hualalai Road intersection.

Veronica Mercado-Santana is facing one count of second-degree negligent homicide in connection with the Feb. 6, 2009, death of 29-year-old Steven L. Carvalho of Kailua-Kona according to a 3rd Circuit Court complaint filed Jan. 26 by Hawaii County Deputy Prosecutor Kimberly Taniyama.

The complaint also said Carvalho's death was the result of Mercado-Santana operating a vehicle in a negligent manner. Bail was set at $7,500 and a bench warrant was issued. Police have yet to arrest Mercado-Santana.

Carvalho was operating a 2003 Suzuki motorcycle and traveling north on Kuakini Highway when a southbound 2006 Toyota van driven by Mercado-Santana apparently failed to yield the right-of-way to Carvalho and made a left turn in front of the motorcycle, according to police.

Carvalho, who was not wearing a helmet, was transported to Kona Community Hospital and pronounced dead at 7:28 p.m., according to police.