POSTED: 08:35 p.m. HST, Jan 21, 2012
LAST UPDATED: 02:57 a.m. HST, Jan 22, 2012
A Honolulu police officer died Saturday night after a three-vehicle crash on the eastbound side of the H-1 freeway in Aiea at the Kaonohi Street overpass, police dispatch said.
Emergency Medical Services personnel said a large pickup truck hit the officer's car, which was on the side of the freeway behind another pickup truck, at 8:19 p.m. The impact sent the police officer's car crashing into the parked pickup truck.
EMS and police said a 41-year-old man and a woman were taken in serious condition to the Queen's Medical Center.
EMS personnel said the injured man had been driving the large pickup truck, which was traveling more than 55 mph. The truck rolled over a couple of times and was demolished. The man was able to pull himself out of the truck and was sitting on the side of the road when emergency workers arrived.
The injured woman was a passenger in the parked truck.
The officer's identity was not released, but police said he worked at the Wahiawa station.
Police closed the freeway in both directions, but reopened the westbound lanes about a half-hour after the crash.
The eastbound lanes remain closed. Eastbound traffic was backed up to the H-1/H-2 merge, and police were diverting traffic onto Kamehameha Highway near the merge.
This is the second time in just over four months that a Honolulu police officer was killed while attending to a vehicle on the side of a highway.
On the night of Sept. 13, motorist James Dorsey Mancao's pickup truck plowed into a row of police cars stopped on the left shoulder of Farrington Highway just before Ko Olina. Officer Eric Fontes was struck and killed, and officer Herman "Sam" Scanlan was injured.
The Honolulu Police Department and other emergency first responders are pushing for the state Legislature to pass a bill this year requiring motorists to give a one-lane safety cushion, or to slow down, when driving around a police car, fire truck or ambulance that is stopped on the road to assist someone or for an emergency or traffic stop.