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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, July 25, 2006

HAWAI'I BRIEFS
Pickup truck hits moped, kills rider

Advertiser Staff

A 28-year-old Honolulu man died yesterday after his moped was struck by a pickup truck on Kapi'olani Boulevard.

The accident occurred shortly after 5:10 p.m. in the east-bound lanes of Kapi'olani near Kamake'e Street. The moped rider was taken to The Queen's Medical Center in critical condition. He died shortly before 7 p.m., said Bryan Cheplic, city Emergency Services spokesman.

Police said a 2006 black Chevy pickup truck was heading west on Kapi'olani when it swerved into oncoming traffic. The truck struck the moped, throwing the driver to the road, police said.

The 23-year-old driver of the truck was not injured, police said. Three passengers, ages 13, 17 and 24, also were not injured.

Police said speed may have been a factor in the crash and they have opened a negligent homicide investigation. The accident marked the 54th traffic fatality so far this year, compared with 50 at the same period last year.

Witnesses of yesterday's accident are asked to call officer Jason Hussey at 529-3499.




KAILUA

ROADWORK LEADS TO LANE CLOSURES

The state will create two left-turn lanes at the Mokapu Boulevard and Oneawa Street intersection tomorrow, requiring lane closures nearby between 8:30 a.m. and 3 p.m.

The restriping work could take two days, according to the state Department of Transportation.




WINDWARD

NEW CONTENDER IN STATE SENATE RACE

Tom Pico Jr. has filed papers seeking the Republication nomination for the state Senate in the 24th District, which includes Kane'ohe, Kailua and Enchanted Lake. Pico is an attorney for the state insurance commissioner, and has worked as a deputy attorney general and deputy prosecutor. He has also served as a member and chair of the Kailua Neighborhood Board.

Republican Sen. Bob Hogue is leaving the seat to run for the U.S. House. Also running for the Senate seat are Republican Keoki Leong and Democrat Jill Tokuda. The primary election will be held Sept. 23.



NEIGHBOR ISLANDS



HIGHWAY DEATHS SUSPECT IN COURT

HILO, Hawai'i A Big Island man facing trial for first-degree murder yesterday made an initial court appearance in District Court.

Vernon Costa, 41, didn't enter a plea to the charge and others he faces in connection with the deaths of two women killed when the car they were in crashed along Mamalahoa Highway on July 16.

Police believe Costa used a pickup truck to run the car off the road because it was carrying his former girlfriend, Janelle Nardin. Killed in the crash were the driver, Pua Lei Santa-Isabel, 26, and another passenger, Casey Ann Swain, 35.

Deputy public defender Anthony Bartholomew said his office faced a conflict of interest in defending Costa because it is representing Nardin.

Deputy prosecutor Shaundra Liu asked for Costa's $500,000 bail to be revoked. But Judge Barbara Takase granted Bartholomew's request for her not to rule on the request until Costa is represented by a court-appointed attorney.

In addition to first-degree murder, which carries a penalty of life in prison without the possibility of parole, he faces two counts of second-degree murder and numerous other charges. He was released from the hospital over the weekend after being treated for injuries he said were inflicted before his arrest July 17 by a boyfriend of one of the victims.