Woman indicted in fatal South Kona hit-and-run

KAILUA-KONA — A 44-year-old woman was indicted on two felony charges in connection with a hit-and-run crash last year in South Kona that left a 61-year-old man dead.

PAULETTE PAULICH

Paulette Paulich of South Kona was indicted Monday by a Kona grand jury on charges of first-degree negligent homicide for causing the death of Mark Brown by the operation of a vehicle in a negligent manner while under the influence of drugs or alcohol and failure to stop following an accident resulting in serious bodily injury or death to another person.

The charges stem from a July 16, 2018, two-vehicle crash near mile marker 88 on Highway 11 that killed Brown, a Nevada resident.

Before the crash, which was reported to police at 7:19 p.m., Brown and his son were riding their motorcycles northbound on the highway after stopping at Manuka State Wayside Park in Ka‘u, said Hawaii Island police last summer.

The son was leading the ride and watching for his father to show up behind him. When Brown didn’t, the son pulled over and saw a vehicle pass that had sustained damage and was smoking. The son then turned around and found Brown on the side of the highway.

Police investigating the crash learned that a black 2009 Cadillac sedan also was traveling northbound on the highway when it rear-ended Brown’s northbound Harley Davidson motorcycle.

Following the collision, police said the sedan and its operator fled the scene. The Cadillac was located abandoned about a half-mile north of the collision site at the intersection of Highway 11 and Lani Kona Road. Officers also learned that a single female, later identified as Paulich, was observed walking away from the sedan.

First-degree negligent homicide and leaving the scene of an accident resulting in serious bodily injury or death are each Class B felonies that carry a maximum penalty of 10 years incarceration and a fine of up to $25,000.

Email Chelsea Jensen at cjensen@westhawaiitoday.com.

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