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First day of 2020 marked by 2 traffic-related fatalities

The year 2020 began with two traffic-related fatalities on the first day of the year, according to the Hawaii Department of Transportation.

HDOT already has tallied two traffic-related fatalities in the state — one pedestrian fatality on Hawaii County and one motorcyclist fatality on Kauai County.

A motorcyclist died early on New Year’s Day morning after crashing into an ambulance that he was trying to overtake, heading eastbound on Hanapepe Road.

The 39-year-old Kekaha man was transported to Wilcox Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

On Hawaii island, police said on the afternoon of New Year’s Day, a 1990 Toyota pickup truck traveling on Kawaihae Road crossed a double-solid yellow line and struck a female pedestrian on the westbound shoulder.

She was transported to Kona Community Hospital, where she was later pronounced dead.

Prosecutors have since charged Jesse Speetjens of Kamuela with second-degree negligent homicide for the death of 42-year-old Sylvia Elizabeth Ravaglia, also of Kamuela.

The two fatalities counted are one more than in the first two days of 2019, when only one traffic fatality involving motor vehicle occupants was tallied on Maui County.

The year 2019 finished up with 108 traffic fatalities, nine less than the 117 in 2018.

The 108 traffic fatalities in 2019 included 47 involving motor vehicle occupants, 37 involving pedestrians, 20 involving motorcycles and mopeds and four involving bicyclicts. The majority, or 51, occurred on Oahu, which also recorded the highest number of pedestrian fatalities, at 21, for 2019.

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