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Pahoa man arrested after fleeing scene of fatal one-car crash

Hawaii island police have arrested the 22-year-old driver who fled the scene of a single-car crash in Pahoa, in which a female passenger was killed.

Police arrested Gary A. Simpkins of Pahoa at 6:15 p.m. Sunday on suspicion of first-degree negligent homicide, first-degree negligent injury, accidental death/serious injury, duty to give information and render aid, two counts of accident vehicle/property and notice of accident.

The crash occurred at 8:22 p.m. Saturday when Simpkins, driving a 2001 Honda four-door sedan west on Nanawale Boulevard, just west of Donneybrook Lane, lost control of the car, ran off the right side of the road and struck some trees and two utility poles, police said.

One of the passengers, a 22-year-old Pahoa woman, died Saturday after she was ejected from the back seat of the car. Police identified her Monday as Shyla N. Medeiros-Dutton.

An autopsy has been ordered to determine cause of death.

Police believe that speed and alcohol were factors in the crash.

Simpkins and a male passenger fled the scene of the crash. The passenger, a 24-year-old Pāhoa man, was later taken to the Hilo Medical Center and released.

Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to call Officer Clarence Acob at 961-2293 or the police non-emergency number at 935-3311.

The crash marks the seventh traffic fatality on Hawaii island this year. To compare, there were also seven at this time last year.

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