Maui News

Piʻilani Hwy Hit-and-Run Suspect Surrenders to Police

April 18, 2014, 1:43 PM HST
* Updated April 19, 4:19 AM
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By Wendy Osher

A 41-year-old Wailuku man was arrested today in connection with a fatal hit-and-run crash on Tuesday that resulted in the death of Viki Deardorff, 51, of Kīhei.

The suspect was arrested at the Wailuku Police Station after turning himself in this morning on one count of accidents involving injury or death, and was released pending further investigation, according to Traffic Section Commander Lieutenant Ricky C. Uedoi.

Following the arrest, Uedoi said, personnel with the Vehicle Homicide Unit went to the man’s residence to seize the truck, which was parked in a closed garage.  

Authorities say officers with the Unit had been to the residence prior to the arrest, but nobody answered the door at the time.

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Police say the 2012 bronze Toyota Tacoma was processed and seized as evidence in the case.

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“Police would like to thank the public for their assistance in trying to locate the vehicle,” said Lieutenant Uedoi in a press release statement.

Earlier in the week, police had sought the public’s help in locating the vehicle and had released a description.

The man’s name and his photograph are not being released at this time as he was arrested and released, but not charged pending further investigation, according to Lieutenant William Juan.

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Background:

The incident was reported at around 11:13 p.m. on Tuesday, April 15, 2014, on the Piʻilani Highway, just south of North Kīhei Road.

Police say the operator of the Toyota that struck the pedestrian fled the scene following the collision and failed to provide assistance.

According to police reports, Deardorff was not within a marked crosswalk during the time of the incident. Police say she sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The incident was the ninth traffic fatality on Maui County roads this year compared to four at the same time last year.

It was also the sixth traffic fatality on Maui roadways over an 11 day period, and comes amid a ‘drive safe’ advisory issued by Maui police, urging motorists to slow down, buckle up, and put their phones away.

The cause of Tuesday’s crash remains under investigation.

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