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HPD officer killed Saturday night identified as Garret Davis, 28

By Dan Nakaso

LAST UPDATED: 07:00 p.m. HST, Mar 21, 2012

Police Chief Louis Kealoha identified the officer who was killed Saturday night while helping stranded motorists on the H-1 freeway as three-year patrol officer Garret Davis as Kealoha urged Honolulu drivers to drive more carefully.

"People gotta slow down on the highways," Kealoha said today at HPD headquarters, where a memorial to Davis was set up.

Davis, 28, graduated from the HPD academy in 2008 with the 161st cadet class.

He grew up in Folsom, Calif., attended San Francisco State University and moved to Honolulu to join the police department, HPD spokeswoman Caroline Sluyter said.

Davis has a young daughter who lives in California, Sluyter said. Services are pending.

Davis was assigned to the Wahiawa sub-station and was delivering paperwork to the main headquarters on Beretania Street when he stopped in the far, left-hand lane of the east-bound, H-1 freeway at the Kaonohi Street overpass in Aiea to help a 32-year-old man and a 22-year-old woman in a stalled vehicle, Kealoha said.

He had turned on the blue lights to his patrol car when he was allegedly struck from behind by a 41-year-old man driving a Chevrolet Silverado, Kealoha said.

"Officer Davis turned on his blue lights and stopped behind the stalled vehicle to shield it from on-coming traffic and to alert other drivers to the stall," Kealoha said. 

Davis' patrol car was then rammed into the stalled vehicle and caught on fire, Kealoha said.

"He didn't even have a chance to get out," Kealoha said.

Emergency Medical Services personnel said the officer's car was hit at 8:19 p.m., sending it crashing into a pickup truck.

The couple Davis was trying to help was taken to a hospital in guarded condition, Kealoha said. 

The driver of the Silverado was arrested for investigation of negligent homicide when he was released from a hospital, Kealoha said.

The collision occurred in clear weather but investigators are trying to determine whether speed or alcohol were factors, Kealoha said.

"Officer Davis was a fine young officer beginning his career in HPD," Kealoha said.

In 2010, Davis received the HPD certificate of merit for helping save a suicidal woman two miles off-shore in Haleiwa while riding on a Honolulu lifeguard personal watercraft.

"Although not a swimmer himself, Officer Davis assisted lifeguards on a personal watercraft and was able to bring the woman ashore safely," Kealoha said. "Last night he was again trying to help others when the fatal collision occurred. ... We are devastated by his loss but we send our prayers and condolences to his family. This is the second time in less than six months that an HPD officer has been killed on our roadways. Our officers risk their lives daily to protect our community and I am pleading with all of you to help protect them while driving with care when you see them performing their duties on our highways."

On Sept. 13, James Dorsey Mancao's pickup truck plowed into police cars stopped beside Farrington Highway near Ko Olina. Officer Eric Fontes was struck and killed, and officer Herman Scanlan was injured.

Emergency workers are pushing lawmakers to pass a bill requiring motorists to give a one-lane safety cushion, or to slow down, when driving around an emergency vehicle stopped on the road.

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raptor wrote:
Our prayers go out to his family. Was the officer in a personal vehicle with a blue light on the roof? That blue light is hard to see amongst all the other lights on the freeway especially at 55mph. I've come close to rear ending one of those cars that was monitoring freeway traffic for construction work. Now, the lightbar/strobes on official HPD cars are significantly brighter and noticeable and hence safer for everyone.
on January 22,2012 | 11:25AM
what wrote:
The article says he was in a "patrol" car. The officer placed himself in harms way and possibly saved the lives of the stranded motorists who might have been hit by the inattentive driver of the Silverado.
on January 22,2012 | 11:45AM
billso wrote:
Was the driver of that Silverado talking on a phone?
on January 22,2012 | 12:01PM
Oye_Como_Va wrote:
Probably, if not, he might have been texting as I have witnessed many drivers in the road lately. A total ban of electronic communication devices should be instituted and enforced.
on January 22,2012 | 01:38PM
atilter wrote:
on January 22,2012 | 04:56PM
Anonymous wrote:
Why you making it into something its not? Im not defending texting while driving. Why couldnt he have fallen asleep like the guy that crashed into a PARKED truck in front of waikele shopping center? or what if he panicked and pressed the gas instead of the brakes like gramma did last week in a SHOPPING center. Reserve judgement till the truth comes out, if ever it does
on January 22,2012 | 09:13PM
ippikiokami wrote:
FYI: The article states that HPD officer was 3 years in the police force, thus, his police vehicle he was driving was a official HPD patrol squad car. Today, an HPD officer needs a minimum of 5 to 10 years to get their own personal car with blue lights. Also, since he was in the force for 3 years and he has delivering paperwork from Wahiawa Police Station to the main station at Beretania, a daily duty, his car was definitely an official HPD squad car with the lightbar/strobes. My sincere condolences to the Davis family. May this man and his good deeds never be forgotten.
on January 22,2012 | 11:59AM
atilter wrote:
you're either blind or inattentive to the job at hand. job # 1 for EVERY DRIVER is the road. just the mere fact - you said it yourself - "come close to rear ending" - shows that problem is in the mirror - nowhere else!
on January 22,2012 | 04:56PM
Vivgie wrote:
Sounds like the accident happened right after the blue lights were turned on. This can cause a lot of confusion initially. The sudden slowdown combined with no room to turn into the next right lane can escalate into a deadly result. Yes, everybody does drive too fast. The highways are made for this fast commuting to accomodate qucker arrivals and super engines. So how could this accident have been prevented? I can't think of a different way to do this correctly. Can you?
on January 22,2012 | 12:05PM
tarheelnation wrote:
Come on now we all drive on the freeway and see people speeding or flying in and out lanes because I see it all the time when I drive I can see blue lights flashing from miles away
on January 22,2012 | 02:00PM
atilter wrote:
how? 1 - give a psychological profile test with every license app to gauge fitness for driving; 2 - limit the number of licensed vehicles on the road to (2) per family; 3 - confiscate the cell phone at every accident and check the carrier's log to see if the phone was in use at the time of the incident; 4 - give citations to every driver seen within a car's length for every 10 mph in the speedlimit (50mph = minimum 5 car lengths) to combat tailgaters, 5 - assign the sheriff's dept to primarily cruising the highways, 6 - decrease the highway speed limits. need more? how about these to start the ball rolling in the right direction? civil liberty issues? - what about civil rights of those who have died?
on January 22,2012 | 05:14PM
jjjjo wrote:
RIP Officer Davis.
on January 22,2012 | 12:06PM
Canefire wrote:
Freeway should have been designed to have at least 10' wide shoulders both on the inside and the outside when there are 3 or more lanes in one direction. Someone should ask State DOT to explain why they don't follow such highway design standards.
on January 22,2012 | 12:33PM
Wazdat wrote:
on January 22,2012 | 03:40PM
atilter wrote:
isn't it ALWAYS someone else's fault? how come?
on January 22,2012 | 05:17PM
Canefire wrote:
H1 is part of the Interstate Highway system. It should've followed the Interstate Highway Standards unless someone gave them the design waiver. http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/geometric/pubs/mitigationstrategies/chapter3/3_shoulderwidth.htm This crash remined me of another fiery crash in 2004 with multiple fatalities. A similar rear-ending accident on a stretch of H1 without inside shoulder.
on January 22,2012 | 10:15PM
olos73 wrote:
The only place I recall this 2 shoulders on H1 is heading eastbound going towards airport past Honolulu Stadium above Stadium Mall area. There's maybe a 1/2 mile stretch before the merge into the Zipper Lane. I agree we need shoulders on both sides because stalls/emergency stops occurs anywhere on freeway, not only on right side. Difficult to move 5 lanes from left lane to right shoulder.
on January 23,2012 | 06:59AM
veelc wrote:
Come on people pay attention. Slow down. Rest in Peace Officer Davis. Aloha to all the Davis ohana.
on January 22,2012 | 12:35PM
false wrote:
Stalled left lane vehicle no curb to protect anyone has to be changed. God loves this man but it seems so inconceivable that we cannot drive to consider the potential hazards ahead. This is an island. Cut the speed and save lives. Maybe your own or your favorite person. Condolences to everyone in this tragedy.
on January 22,2012 | 01:06PM
allie wrote:
If you cannot read, write or lack basic intelligence to drive carefully, stay off the road
on January 22,2012 | 04:55PM
thatsashame_0723 wrote:
Prayers for Officer Davis and his family.
on January 22,2012 | 01:19PM
Manoa2 wrote:
If you are going faster than 55-- people are driving at 65-70 MPH-- there is no way you can stop or change lanes safely if you encounter a blockage like this. You are likely to skid and crash. It is simple physics-- faster than 55 MPH = Crash. The most effective way to control speed, make the highways safer, and cut gas consumption and lower fuel costs, is to bring back the camera enforcement of speed limit-- that really kept people from speeding.
on January 22,2012 | 02:00PM
CloudForest wrote:
Wrong on all points, the stalled car should have been put into neutral and allowed to coast into the slow lane or better yet onto the apron so that this tragic event would have never happened.
on January 22,2012 | 03:55PM
atilter wrote:
i disagree with you! you both have very good suggestions!
on January 22,2012 | 05:20PM
ejkorvette wrote:
Right at this moment, the Time is for Prayers, with God's blessings Healing. After, we as a State need to stop dragging our feet in taking care of each other on this Island. Honolulu Hale, Governor, and Mayor, Get the job that you were elected to Do!!! And the job that you are getting paid to Do!!! No More Lip Service, Enact the Proper Laws NOW!!! SAFETY FIRST!!
on January 22,2012 | 02:08PM
JackZ wrote:
Officer Davis Rest in Peace and condolences to your family. A very sad loss for a dedicated officer just beginning his career with HPD.
on January 22,2012 | 02:22PM
jtamura69 wrote:
They should make speeding the same as a DUI. When you are caught speeding they should take away your license and if you want to drive you have to have a speed monitor installed in your car. Then if you are over the legal speed limit while driving you are assessed a $100 fine for every mile you go over the speed limit, after 3 offenses you pay a heavy fine.
on January 22,2012 | 03:37PM
Bothrops wrote:
I like it. And the fines should go to the C and C, not the state, to pay for the program. But raise the speed limits 5 mph as most are set too low deliberately as the authorities expect us to speed! Then enforce them.
on January 22,2012 | 03:50PM
CloudForest wrote:
Spoken like someone with CDS (Can't Drive Syndrome), let's take the license of anyone that can't drive the speed limit or move into the slow lane to let faster traffic pass, or use their turning signals. Let's take the license of anyone that can't pull out of a four wheel drift without taking out everyone around them. It's not speed that kills, it's CDS and it's endemic with Hawaii drivers.
on January 22,2012 | 03:52PM
jtamura69 wrote:
Just remember that driving is a privilege. When you took your written and road tests you knew the laws of the road when you got your license so if you think that way, that means people who speed don't care about the law or the people you share the road with. So what do you call people who do something wrong but do it anyway.
on January 22,2012 | 04:02PM
atilter wrote:
inept, inconsiderate ego-maniacs who should be taken off the road and licenses revoked.
on January 22,2012 | 05:24PM
Keoniana wrote:
Vivgie, The truck would have hit the couple anyway, regardless if the officer was there or not, he put his life in line to save them. It didn't matter if he turned his lights ON or not.
on January 22,2012 | 03:37PM
soshaljustic wrote:
This moment deserves recognition for a legislative bill immediately! Two emergency responders dead, and nothing done by our political leaders to change this? Shame on them for taking this slow road! It is not the leader problem or family that is dying, right? So why the hell care, they say on the side! No need to hurry b4 anyone dies. Consideration over coffee? perhaps after 1 death. 2 deaths may be time for that coffee tomorrow, a plan to "Study" the situation so we do not have to do anything about it right away, and waste time so it will seem that we are working on it with some emergent use of time! But really, btwn you and I? maybe is a long ways away!!! Neither an emergency responder, a driver am I, but simply a person that could kill someone in an accident as this and I think it prudent to move a vehicle I am in, away from the responder that does their job, while I go whizzing by!!!!
on January 22,2012 | 03:38PM
Wazdat wrote:
Very sad story. Its amazing as I am in california and EVERYONE GOES 60-80 MILES AN HOUR and you almost NEVER hear of these types of accidents. Maybe Hawaii drivers are that bad.
on January 22,2012 | 03:39PM
Waterman2 wrote:
It is a function of no shoulders wide enough to really get well out of the traffic. But there is also the habit of some, traveling 20 miles an hour faster than everybody else, and constantly switching lanes practically bumper to bumper to keep this speed......no one, no matter how smart or coordinated can foresee all the possibilities while lane surfing. In any case, the driver of the pickup is liable......I expect he will be paying for this the rest of his life.
on January 22,2012 | 05:40PM
kprtyqn wrote:
Condolences to this mans family...Enlighting what "factors" may be involved with accidents they should now start stating "Texting" or "Phone Calls" ...well the prosecuting attorney will do that work but ive had a family member who was stalled and the lady who rammer into her and sent her 1yr old baby flying into the front seat had been texting on her phone while driving 60mph on H1......... humans are so ignorant thinking things CANT happen but they CAN
on January 22,2012 | 03:41PM
CloudForest wrote:
The driver of the stalled car should have coasted into the right hand shoulder. The officer should have left more room between himself and the stalled car, sat there with his foot on the break and gas and accelerated if need be to give the pickup a cushion to manuever into anther lane and escape the roadblock in front of him. Bad planning all around with - tragic results. How sad, so sorry for the loss of life. This should be used as a case study by HPD and they should never allow any officer to "crowd" the situation in the future.
on January 22,2012 | 03:42PM
st1d wrote:
what a load of useless advice. condolences to officer davis' family. don't let ignorant statements like those above get you down. officer davis did his best. the driver of the pickup did his worst.
on January 22,2012 | 04:44PM
CloudForest wrote:
I've learned and taught evasive methods and tactics for years, this was a series of mistakes that turned tragic. How sad, sorry for the families loss - this will effect many people into the future. Yet, if this can be used to save lives in the future, then that would be one item that needs to be learned by HPD and any other person that would be willing to learn.
on January 22,2012 | 05:44PM
dunderhead wrote:
Were you there? How do you know the vehicle was capable of coasting from the left lane over to the right? Do you know how much room the officer had between the disabled vehicle and his? Can you judge at night looking in a mirror the closing rate of some dummy in a bigfoot truck? If the officer hadn't stopped where he did, it would be the people in the stalled vehicle that would have borne the brunt of the impact. HPD officers are trained to drive and deal with situations on the road, you obviously were not.
on January 22,2012 | 05:35PM
CloudForest wrote:
The car was in the fast lane (obviously moving at, near, or above the speed limit when the engine quit), throw it into neutral while it's still moving and coast out of the way. That single proper move would have saved the young officer's life, but the driver failed to move to a safe location while he had the momentum to do it.
on January 22,2012 | 05:48PM
allie wrote:
Why would anyone run into the back of a police car with its lights on? Too many people cannot read, write or learn the rul;es of the road. Way too many speed, are distracted by boom boxes, use drugs or lack the basic intelligence to operate a car. This was murder folks.
on January 22,2012 | 04:54PM
Compassionate_Cat wrote:
WE need to inform on TV all drivers that when your vehicle is not operating correctly or you need to stop on the freeway for any reason you must go to the RIGHT side of the freeway where there is a lane for the car not on the left which is the FAST lane. Slow lane is on the RIGHT side, that side you exit on, NOT the left side please. We must keep each other safe and my condolences to this officer's family and friends.
on January 22,2012 | 05:54PM
Bigwave12 wrote:
I read all the comments here. We've all be on H-1..can you realistically believe that you can actually coast from the left lane to the far right lane?(and no the left lane is not the fast lane, they are all the same speed limit, we just tend to think you have to drive that fast in the left lane)...anyway, there is no way you can coast across 4 lanes of traffic without getting t-boned or ran into buy other drivers and thus creating a massive pile-up on H-1...the stalled vehicle did the right thing, hopefully turning on their hazard lights. The person in the truck was going too fast, in the so-called fast lane...Sincere condolences to the Davis Ohana. Officer Davis probably prevented the loss of life of the folks in the stalled car. RIP Officer Davis
on January 22,2012 | 07:15PM
olos73 wrote:
I agree with you. If the engine konks, it konks. Doesn't matter where you are. I doubt he could've "coasted" the 4 lanes. Cars going 50 MPH, even if you turn on your blinkers to go to right shoulder, it's not easy crossing those lanes in an almost paralyzed car. How many people in those 4 lanes can come to almost a complete stop to let the stalled car cross? They aren't prepared for this, so they'll keep on zipping by. At night, it's more difficult because you can't see that far in distance to anticipate slowing down. You only see brake lights, by then it's too late. My ALOHA to the Davis ohana.
on January 23,2012 | 12:14PM
rest in peace officer garret davis. You went beyond the call of duty.
on January 22,2012 | 07:12PM
Mulepower wrote:
Rest In Peace my brother!
on January 22,2012 | 08:18PM
buck808 wrote:
He is a true life saver and a hero.
on January 22,2012 | 09:46PM
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