Charges are pending against the 32-year-old driver of a stolen Honda sedan who allegedly tried to elude police in a high-speed chase Sunday and collided with a Toyota Camry in Hilo, seriously injuring an 86-year-old woman.
The impact ripped the Honda in half, police said.
Police said officers had been pursuing the Honda on Highway 11 through Keaau and Puna but soon broke off the chase.
"His speeds were so severe that a short while later they elected to terminate the pursuit, fearing that some kind of catastrophe — such as what happened — would occur," said Capt. Randall Medeiros, of the Hawaii County Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division.
Police arrested Alexander Borrero III of Hilo at 3 p.m. Sunday on suspicion of first-degree negligent injury and first-degree attempted murder for also allegedly backing the car into an officer.
The crash happened at the intersection of Highway 11 and Mamaki Street.
The suspect, a convicted felon, has a history of auto theft.
Medics took the Camry occupants and Borrero, who remained in serious condition yesterday, to the Hilo Medical Center.
Police said an 86-year-old Hilo woman, who was a passenger in the Camry, was seriously injured and was upgraded to stable condition yesterday. Her son, the 61-year-old Camry driver, also of Hilo, was treated and released.
The chain of events began at about 1:45 p.m. Sunday, when police were investigating two sightings of a stolen truck in Puna.
Witnesses saw a man fleeing on foot from the stolen truck and saw him inside a Honda parked on Paradise Drive in Hawaiian Paradise Park, police said.
When an officer approached the Honda, the driver allegedly reversed at high speed, "nearly running over him," a police news release said. The officer became snagged on the car and was dragged a short distance before he got free, uninjured, police said.
Officers began pursuing the Honda but backed off for safety reasons, police said.
At about 2:30 p.m., police were told that a car was driving recklessly in Mountain View.
The officers found the car near Aloha Estates but could not stop it as it fled toward Keaau.
Police said they chose to follow the car at a distance to monitor its location.
Officers then spotted the Honda speeding eastbound on Mamaki Street.
Witnesses said the Honda driver crossed onto Highway 11 from Mamaki and sped in front of the Volcano-bound Toyota, which struck the Honda.
Borrero, who was the sole occupant of the Honda, was pinned under the front half of the car.
He was wanted on three contempt warrants and one warrant for jumping bail, Medeiros said.
Anyone with information concerning the collision or events leading up to it are asked to call Acting Lt. Reed Mahuna at 961-2252; anonymous calls may be made to 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona.