POSTED: 03:58 p.m. HST, Jul 23, 2012
LAST UPDATED: 07:27 p.m. HST, Jul 23, 2012
An on-duty Honolulu police officer was killed in an accident during a motorcycle training exercise in front of Mililani District Park about 11:40 a.m. today.
He was identified as Officer Chad Morimoto, 39.
Morimoto joined HPD in April 2004 and served as a Waikiki patrol officer before becoming a motorcycle patrolman in 2010, Police Chief Louis Kealoha said.
Police investigators are still looking into the details of the crash on Lanikuhana Avenue. But Kealoha said it is believed Morimoto's motorcycle slid out from under him and struck a curb. He was taken in critical condition to Pali Momi Medical Center where he died a short time later.
"His commander described him as a positive and happy officer who was always smiling and loved to ride," Kealoha said.
Raheim Flores, an 18-year-old regular at the Mililani District Park skateboard park, said Monday was the first time he had seen police officers cone off Lanikuhana for a motorcycle exercise.
Flore said about five or six officers were in front of the park training when he arrived about 8:30 a.m. and were there when he some friends went to a nearby store to get some lunch. When they returned, they saw the officer on the ground and other officers around him.
Morimoto is the third Honolulu police officer to be killed while on-duty in a year. In January, Officer Garret Davis died after his patrol car was hit from behind by a pickup truck. In September, Officer Eric Fontes was killed when he was hit by a vehicle while assisting another officer with a traffic stop on Farrington Highway near Ko Olina.
Morimoto, of Salt Lake, leaves behind a wife, a son and a daughter.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.