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Driver arrested after hit-and-run, death of Hilo man

A 57-year-old man has died after being struck by an SUV in a hit-and-run while walking in Hilo over the weekend.

Hawaii island police responded at 8:18 p.m. Saturday to the scene on East Kawili Street near Manono Street.

Police said a Honda SUV traveling east on Kawili struck the man, identified as Eric Mabuni of Hilo, but did not stop to render aid and continued toward Kanoelehua Avenue, where it struck a pedestrian crossing signal before heading southbound.

Mabuni was found unresponsive at the scene, and taken by ambulance to Hilo Medical Center.

Police said he was later flown to The Queen’s Medical Center on Oahu due to the severity of his injuries, where he later died. An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.

Police found the Honda at Kanoelehua and Kawaialani Street with the driver, Sienna Tavares-Brown, 25, of Pahoa, and initially arrested her on suspicion of first-degree negligent injury and operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant.

Tavares-Brown was not injured, nor were her two juvenile passengers, who have since been released to family members.

After further investigation and conferral with the East Hawaii County Prosecutors Office, police charged Tavares-Brown on suspicion of first-degree negligent homicide, OVUII, operating a vehicle after license revoked for OVUII, leaving the scene of an accident involving death, and leaving the scene of an accident involving damage to property.

Additionally she was charged with suspicion of two counts of reckless endangering in the second degree and two counts of failure to use child passenger restraints.

Tavares-Brown is currently being held at the Hilo Police Station pending her initial court appearance. Her bail has been set at $158,000.

Anyone with information regarding the collision should contact Officer Jerome Duarte at 808-961-2339, or Jerome.Duarte@hawaiicounty.gov.

Hawaii island police said this was the 15th traffic fatality so far this year compared to six at the same time last year.

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