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Honolulu officer on motorcycle killed during training

July 24, 2012
By AUDREY MCAVOY , The Associated Press

HONOLULU - A Honolulu police officer died Monday after he fell from his motorcycle during a training exercise, police said.

Officer Chad Morimoto, 39, was participating in motorcycle escort training near Mililani District Park when his motorcycle slid out from under him and he hit a curb. He was in critical condition when he was taken to a hospital, and he was later pronounced dead.

It's the third on-duty death of a Honolulu police officer in a year.

"This incident is a tragedy and it deeply affects to the core our Honolulu Police Department - both our sworn officers as well as our civilian employees," Chief Louis Kealoha said at a news conference. "This is a time where we need to come together as a police department and support each other."

Kealoha said the department was investigating the cause of the crash.

Earlier this year, 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 had been with the department eight years and became a motorcycle officer in 2010. He started his career as a patrol officer in Waikiki.

He is survived by his wife, a daughter and a son, Kealoha said.

Sgt. Tenari Maafala, president of the State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers, said the death is indicative of the dangers of police work.

He said Morimoto looked forward to performing his bike officer duties and had a great sense of humor.

"He's definitely known as a happy-go-lucky prankster type of guy," Maafala said.

The union sends its condolences, love and aloha to Morimoto's wife, children, parents and in-laws, Maafala said.



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