By Maui Now Staff
(Update: 12:39 p.m. 9/14/11) *** Video courtesy HPD & Maka’i Video Productions.
Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha delivered a somber statement today on the death of Officer Eric Fontes, who was killed in an accident during a traffic stop last night on O’ahu.
Kealoha said he was “deeply saddened” by the news and “shocked” by the traffic incident that took his (Fontes’) life.
Sources tell Hawaii News Now that officer Fontes, 45, was originally from Molokai and graduated from the Police Academy in 2005.
“This tragedy highlights the dangers our officers face every day and the stress their families must endure,” said Chief Kealoha during a press conference that was streamed live via several news outlets from Honolulu.
Fontes was among five officers who responded to a traffic stop at around 10:30 p.m. on the Farrington Highway, westbound near the Ko Olina off-ramp, police said.
Honolulu police say blue lights were flashing on the responding police vehicles, with four officers, including Officer Fontes on the grass median near the concrete divide when the incident occurred.
“Suddenly a 2003 Toyota Tacoma, driven by a 20-year-old man veered left around four police vehicles, off the highway, and onto the grassy median where the officers were located,” said Chief Kealoha in his public statement.
Police say the truck hit the concrete divide and struck officer Fontes. The truck then hit Officer Herman “Sam” Scanlan’s subsidized police vehicle, which struck Scanlan and the vehicle that was involved in the traffic stop, said police.
The occupants within the stopped vehicle were not injured, according to police.
Officer Fontes died as a result of injuries suffered in the incident. Officer Scanlan, 55, though badly injured and in serious condition, is expected to recover, according to Chief Kealoha.
Police say the driver of the Tacoma was arrested for both negligent homicide and negligent injury.
“This incident has shattered many lives, and we ask that everyone remember these officers and their families in our thoughts and prayers. As a community, we share in the loss of this fine officer,” said Chief Kealoha.
Before leaving the press conference this afternoon, Chief Kealoha issued a plea to motorists to please drive carefully and help prevent what he called “senseless tragedies like this” from occurring again.
(Posted: 8:45 a.m. 9/14/11)
Family and friends of Honolulu Police Officer Eric Fontes are mourning his death following a fatal accident on the H-1 Freeway last night, that according to reports from Hawaii News Now.
Sources tell Hawaii News Now that officer Fontes was originally from Molokai and graduated from the Police Academy in 2005.
Fellow HPD officer, Herman Scanlan reportedly sustained injuries in the accident and remains hospitalized.
The incident was reported at around 10:30 p.m. near Makakilo, when a pickup truck reportedly struck one of the police units who were at a traffic stop, attending to an SUV near the median.
A suspect has since been arrested.
Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha is expected to make a statement about the incident later today.
*** Supporting information courtesy Hawaii News Now