SpeedingA routine call to direct traffic around a traffic accident near Kualoa Ranch ended in the death of a Honolulu police officer.
A 46-year-old Kaneohe
patrol officer is fatally injured
while directing traffic at
an accident scene
By Rosemarie Bernardo
and Nelson Daranciang
Dannygriggs M. Padayao, a 46-year-old Kaneohe patrol officer, died last night after he was struck by a dark blue pick-up truck near the entrance of the ranch and Johnson Road on Kamehameha Highway around 10:30 p.m.
"He was just doing his job. At times it's dangerous ... the danger became fatal," said Maj. Jeffrey Owens, commander of the Traffic Division.
Padayao's partner, Frederick Apo, 42, sustained minor injuries to his leg and foot from a vehicle traveling behind the pick-up truck.
Both police officers were taken to Castle Medical Center. Padayao, who arrived at the hospital in critical condition, later died of multiple injuries. Apo was treated and released.
The driver who allegedly struck Padayao left the scene. Police later found him in the area. Speed and alcohol were contributing factors in the accident, police said.
The suspect, 22 of Kahaluu, was arrested for negligent homicide, driving under the influence and failure to render aid. Shortly before 10 p.m., the two police officers were called to direct traffic after a four-door sedan operated by a woman struck a white station wagon on Kamehameha Highway near Johnson Road and rammed into a telephone pole. Two young men in the station wagon were taken to Castle Medical Center and treated for minor injuries, said nursing supervisor Virginia Paea.
Sgt. John Agno of the Honolulu Police Department said Padayao was standing in the center lane of the two-lane road directing traffic when a man driving a pick-up truck toward Kaneohe struck the officer.
Agno said Padayao was thrown about 25 yards.
Al Rule, a 40-year resident of Hauula, said people often speed along the long stretch of road. "They (drivers) cut poles down like trees."
Rule was driving in one of nearly 70 vehicles that were backlogged on Kamehameha Highway until police re-opened one lane by 4 a.m.
Hauula resident Cheryl Pollster, who waited more than three hours with her husband Dan and their four sons, said, "It makes you think about how fragile life is. One minute you're here, then you're gone the next."