Police are seeking witnesses to a collision in which an on-duty police officer driving an SUV struck and killed a 57-year-old man who apparently darted onto the H-1 freeway in Pearl City Saturday night.
The victim had no local address and was pronounced dead at the scene. The officer was on routine patrol at 6 p.m. in the far right lane heading west near the H-2 exit in a Toyota 4Runner when the accident occurred, Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard said today.
She held a news conference to call for the public’s help in providing more information on the case and to help identify the victim.
“Based on initial reports, it appears that the male may have run onto the freeway into the path of the officer’s car,” Ballard said. “We are asking for witnesses or anyone who has any information to contact the HPD Traffic Division at 723-3413.”
The 46-year-old driver is a patrol sergeant with 23 years of service on the police force, assigned to the Pearl City station. Traffic police are investigating the case as they would with any similar accident, Ballard said.
“At this time, there is no indication of alcohol or speeding involved,” she said.
In addition to the criminal investigation, an administrative investigation is being conducted by HPD’s Professional Standards Office. The officer has been placed on temporary paid leave, which is standard procedure.
“There is no difference as far as the investigation is concerned, so that’s why his car was taken,” Ballard said. “We’ll review the black box, do a complete investigation, as we would with anybody else.”
“At this time, it appears to be an accident,” she added. “The pedestrian ran into the freeway and he just didn’t really have a chance to react.”
Although there was documentation indicating the victim was 57, his identity has not yet been confirmed.
Ballard said police would wait for results of an autopsy to determine whether the pedestrian was impaired by drugs or other substances.
This is the 42nd traffic fatality on Oahu this year compared to 51 at the same time last year.