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Hawaii island police identify pedestrian who died after getting hit by truck

A 40-year-old Kailua-Kona woman died after she was hit by a pickup truck while crossing a highway on Hawaii island Sunday night.

She has been identified as Melissa Baker Heldele, the Hawaii Police Department said.

The collision occurred at about 8:25 p.m. on Queen Kaahumanu Highway, 0.1 miles north of the 68 mile marker.

Police said a maroon 2010 Honda Ridgeline pickup truck operated by a 54-year-old Paauilo man was traveling south on the highway when it struck Heldele as she was crossing the highway. The portion of the highway where the collision occurred is not illuminated.

Police said Heldele was taken to the Kona Community Hospital where she was pronounced dead at 12:06 a.m. today.

The pickup truck driver was not injured.

Police do not believe speed or impairment were factors in the collision.

This is the second traffic-related fatality on Hawaii island this year. There were no traffic-related fatalities on the island at this time last year.

The Area II Traffic Enforcement Unit has opened a negligent homicide investigation and is asking anyone who may have witnessed the collision to contact officer Adam Roberg at 808-326-4646 or email

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call CrimeStoppers at 808-961-8300.

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