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Paauilo boy hit and killed by semitrailer on highway is identified


A 17-year-old Paʻauilo boy died Friday (September 7) from injuries he received in a motor vehicle/pedestrian crash at the intersection of Mamalahoa Highway (Route 19) and Paʻauilo Makai Road in the Hamakua District.

The victim was identified as John DeLuz, of a Paʻauilo address.

Responding to a 5:32 p.m. call, Hamakua patrol and Traffic Enforcement Unit officers determined that the victim had exited a Hele-On bus that was stopped on the mauka side of the road, ran in front of the bus and ran out into the highway. He was struck by a 1988 International semi tractor trailer that was traveling east on Mamalahoa Highway.

The driver of the semi tractor trailer, a 22-year-old Kamuela man, was not injured.

Fire Rescue personnel medevaced the victim to the North Hawaiʻi Community Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 6:37 p.m.

It is unknown at this time if alcohol or speed was a factor in this crash.

Traffic Enforcement Unit officers have initiated a negligent homicide case and have ordered and autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.

Anyone with information regarding this crash is asked to call Officer Clarence Davies at 961-8118.

This is the 27th traffic fatality on the Big Island this year compared to 15 at the same time last year.

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