Hilo Man Dies in Police Custody Following Traffic Crash

A 63-year-old Hilo man died on Sunday morning in police custody.

The Hawai`i Police Department reports that the incident stems from a motorcycle crash on Saturday.

Responding to the 3:10 p.m. crash, Hilo patrol officers determined that the driver of 2003 Kawasaki motorcycle traveling west on Makaʻala Street rear-ended a Toyota sedan and was thrown from the motorcycle.

The driver of the motorcycle refused medical treatment. He was then taken into custody and arrested with driving under the influence of an intoxicant, driving without a license, and driving without insurance.

Police officials say he had been unable to post $1,250 bail and was placed into a single occupancy cell.

The man was found unresponsive within a cell at the Hilo police cellblock at approximately 10:20 p.m. Hawai`i County Fire Department Fire and Rescue personnel were immediately summoned and the man was taken to the Hilo Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 4:40 a.m.

HPD reports that his death has been classified as an unattended death. The investigation is being conducted by detectives assigned to the department’s Criminal Investigations Section.

An autopsy has been scheduled to determine the exact cause of death.

Police are withholding his name pending notification of family members.

A standard administrative investigation is also being conducted by the internal affairs division to determine if department policies and procedures were adhered to surrounding the circumstances of the decedent’s confinement.