A 55-year-old Maui Police Department employee died in a motor vehicle collision on Maui Thursday morning as she was chasing someone who had reportedly stolen her purse.
Terry Jones of Makawao was driving a 2018 Honda Pilot around 4:40 a.m. when she lost control and collided with a tree near the intersection of Kula Highway and Haleakala Highway, MPD said in a release.
She sustained fatal injuries in the crash and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Maui Police Chief John Pelletier said in a news conference that Jones was his secretary and had worked with MPD for 32 years.
“This woman was the matriarch … of this department. Everyone knew Terry. Everyone loved Terry.” Pelletier said. “She would do anything for anyone.”
Jones, who was traveling north on Kula Highway, had her purse stolen and was chasing the suspect, police said. She lost control of her vehicle as she was turning right onto Haleakala Highway.
MPD said Jones was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.
The fatality is the sixth for Maui County this year. There was one at this point last year, according to Maui police.