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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 9:50 a.m., Thursday, September 27, 2001

Police Beat

Advertiser Staff

Man dies in Big Island crash

A 44-year-old man died and two others were seriously injured in a head-on collision that occurred yesterday on Mamalahoa Highway near the 46-mile marker in the Hamakua District.

The fatality victim was identified as Dennis J. Langston of a Honomu address.

Responding to a 5:31 p.m. call, police officers determined that a 1988 Honda Prelude sedan driven by Langston was heading toward Hilo when it crossed the centerline and collided head-on with a 1990 Jeep pickup driven by Mark Weiner, 50, of Waimea.

Weiner and his front-seat passenger, John Gildroy, 49, also of Waimea, were taken to the North Hawai'i Community Hospital, where Gildroy was reported in stable condition. Weiner was later flown in critical condition to Queen's Medical Center in Honolulu.

Langston was taken to the Hilo Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 8:37 p.m.

The collision, which occurred below the Boy Scout camp, caused a partial road closure for about two hours before the vehicles could be moved and an oil spill cleaned from the surface of the road.

Traffic Enforcement Unit officers are continuing an investigation into the case and have ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of Langston's death. Alcohol is believed to have been a factor in the collision.

Langston's death was the 21st traffic fatality of the year, compared with 30 at the same time last year.

Boy arrested for taking purse

Police arrested a 15-year-old boy after he allegedly stole a purse from a 72-year-old woman last night in Waikiki.

According to police, the woman was walking on Kuhio Avenue and near her apartment building when the robber grabbed her purse from behind.

The woman fell to the ground and the robber pulled her purse from her left arm and fled. An off-duty police officer saw the robber running and followed him. After hearing the all-points bulletin he detained the robber until he was identified and arrested on suspicion of second-degree robbery.

Suspect sought in Kalihi business arson

Police were searching for an arsonist who started a small fire at a Kalihi plumbing and sheet metal business earlier this week.

According to police, the arsonist struck sometime between 6 p.m. on Monday and 6 a.m. on Tuesday at Oahu Plumbing & Sheet Metal Ltd. on 938 Kohou St.

Arriving workers on Tuesday found broken glass and soot damage to an area of the shop near the Mookaula Street shop door.

The debris appeared to be the remains of a "Molotov Cocktail" that had been thrown inside the shop via an access hole in the door. The fire burned itself out and caused only cosmetic damage.