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Police identify 18-year-old woman killed in Kona crash

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 10:17 a.m. HST, Apr 11, 2011

Big Island police identified the 18-year-old woman who died in a North Kona SUV crash Saturday as Chernell Kaili of Kailua-Kona.

Just after 2:30 a.m. Saturday, Kaili was driving a 2002 Ford Explorer west on Ahulani Street in Kalaoa, North Kona, when she lost control, ran off the right side of the road and overturned, police said. 

Firefighters found the woman trapped in the driver's seat with no obvious signs of life. They had to remove the driver's side door to get her out of the vehicle.

She was pronounced dead at 6:35 a.m. at Kona Community Hospital. Her passengers -- two men, ages 19 and 20, and a 15-year-old girl -- were taken to the hospital where they were treated for minor injuries and released.

All the occupants of the vehicle were wearing their seat belts, police said.

Speed and alcohol may have been contributing factors in the crash, according to police. An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.

Anyone with information about this crash should call Officer Thomas Koyanagi at 326-4646, extension 229.

It was the seventh traffic fatality on the Big Island this year compared with eight at this time last year. 

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