Updated: Man killed in Kalapana crash Monday (May 21) is identified

UPDATED (on 5/23/2018)

Police have identified the man who died in a 1-vehicle traffic crash Monday (May 21) on Highway 130 near the 21-mile marker in the Puna District.

He was identified as 59-year-old Kenneth “Key” Mepham Jr. of Kalapana.

This was the 11th traffic fatality this year compared with 15 at the same time last year.

Police are also asking anyone who witnessed the crash to call Officer Keith Nacis at 961-2339 or email: Keith.Nacis@hawaiicounty.gov.

MEDIA RELEASE

An unidentified adult man died following a 1-vehicle crash Monday (May 21) in the Kalapana area.

His name is being withheld pending positive identification and notification of his family.

Responding to a 1:57 p.m. call, police determined that a 1998 Isuzu sports-utility vehicle was traveling Pahoa bound (northeast) on Kaimu-Chain of Craters Road and onto Highway 130 when he lost control of the vehicle and rolled the vehicle several times near the 21 mile marker.

The man who died was not wearing a seatbelt and was ejected from the vehicle. He was taken to the Hilo Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 4:53 p.m.

Speed appears to be a factor in this crash.

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

Police ask anyone who witnessed the crash to call Officer Keith Nacis at 961-2339. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers at 961-8300.

This is the 11th traffic fatality this year compared with 15 at this time last year.