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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 10:44 a.m., Friday, May 5, 2006

Big Island police ID teen killed in hit-and-run accident

By David Waite
Advertiser Staff Writer

Big Island police have identified the 19-year-old man killed last night in a hit-and-run accident along Queen Kaahumanu Highway as Erwin Lauronal, 19, of Kailua-Kona.

They said Lauronal was standing on the shoulder of the highway in Kailua-Kona about 11:40 p.m., about 280 feet south of Kawi Street, when a south-bound Jeep veered off the road and struck him.

Police said Lauronal had parked his car on shoulder of the highway facing south and was talking to his mother, who was in a parked pickup truck when the Jeep hit him.

Lauronal was taken to Kona Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 3 a.m.

The Jeep left the scene and continued southbound.

A short time later, police found the Jeep and its driver in Kainaliu. They arrested Keith Taylor, 26, of Hawaiian Ocean View Estates, in connection with the case but have not charged him pending further investigation. Taylor was also arrested on suspicion of contempt of court in connection with an outstanding bench warrant stemming from an unrelated case.

Police believe speed and alcohol were factors in the crash. They are investigating the case as a negligent homicide.

The fatality is the 14th this year, compared with the same number at this time last year.