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Wayne Parsons
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Hilo Motorcycle Death On Hawaii Belt Road Leads To Negligent Homicide Investigation


In another sad day on Hawaii roads Hilo resident Joseph Flood, Sr., died as he road his Harley Davidson motorcycle north on Hawaii Belt Road (Route 11). The call came into police at 11:55 A.M. on Monday July 13th reporting the crash. A 67 year old Kurtistown woman had turned left onto Hawaii Belt Road after stopping at the stop sign at the intersection of Makalika Street. Her car appeared in front of Mr. Flood blocking his right of way. The ensuing collision cost Mr. Flood his life. He was pronounced dead at 2 P.M. at Hilo Medical Center. Our condolences go out to the family and friends of Mr. Flood.

The KITV news report suggests that speed may have been a factor. Police ask that anyone with information about this case call Officer Robert Pauole at 961-8119. A negligent homicide investigation is underway to determine if the Kurtistown woman was negligent in turning into the path of the motorcycle. She was driving a 2006 Mazda 4-door sedan. The driver of the Mazda had stopped at a stop sign and then turned left in front of the north bound motorcycle drive by Mr. Flood.

Mr. Flood was riding a 2003 Harley Davidson motorcycle in the inside lane going north on Hawaii Belt Road when he broadsided the Mazda sedan crossing the intersection.

This is the 14th fatality on the Big Island this year. Motorcycle injury and death has been at epidemic proportions in Hawaii this year:

Keaau Motorcycle Crash Sadly Results in Two Deaths - By Wayne Parsons

The driver of the Mazda sedan was not seriously injured. Was she at fault? Apparently the Hilo police are investigating that question. The law on negligent homicide states the following:

§707-704 Negligent homicide in the third degree. (1) A person is guilty of the offense of negligent homicide in the third degree if that person causes the death of another person by the operation of a vehicle in a manner which is simple negligence.

(2) "Simple negligence" as used in this section:

(a) A person acts with simple negligence with respect to the person’s conduct when the person should be aware of a risk that the person engages in that conduct.

(b) A person acts with simple negligence with respect to attendant circumstances when the person should be aware of a risk that those circumstances exist.

(c) A person acts with simple negligence with respect to a result of the person’s conduct when the person should be aware of a risk that the person’s conduct will cause that result.

(d) A risk is within the meaning of this subsection if the person’s failure to perceive it, considering the nature and purpose of the person’s conduct and the circumstances known to the person, involves a deviation from the standard of care that a law-abiding person would observe in the same situation.

(3) Negligent homicide in the third degree is a misdemeanor. [L 1972, c 9, pt of §1; am L 1988, c 292, §3]

A misdemeanor is punishable by up to one year in prison and a judge may also give a sentence of probation, meaning the person would not go to jail. That is appropriate for conduct that, while negligent, was not intentional and was not grossly negligent


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  1. Mike Bryant says:
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    Interesting take on this issue. I was just talking to a client today about different ways that the police may or may not charge our a collision.

  2. Steve Lombardi says:
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    Once again those maps are really nice. Are you adding them as an image or like we add YouTube video?

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    Thanks Michael. The criminal aspects of these cases are complex. I have a pedestrian case where the police are contemplating filing a charge against my client for jaywalking. Then the detective asked my client – a minor – for a statement. This is a difficult area.