Sponsored by:

Comment, blog & share photos

Log in | Become a member
The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Wednesday, August 18, 2004

25-year HPD officer dies in H-2 car crash

By Karen Blakeman
Advertiser Staff Writer

A veteran Honolulu police officer on his way to investigate a report of a brawl was killed Monday night on H-2 Freeway when he lost control of his sport utility vehicle, police said.

Issac Veal

Police officer Issac Veal, 58, was the father of four adult children and a 25-year veteran of the force, said acting Police Chief Glen Kajiyama. Known to his friends as "Ike," Veal told Kajiyama he was contemplating retiring this year.

No one else was injured in the single-vehicle accident, which remains under investigation.

"Officer Veal was a dedicated and well-liked officer, and he was very much respected by his peers and supervisors," Kajiyama said. "He could make you smile when you were in the lowest of the lows; he had that charisma — that personality."

Veal, who had started his shift in Wahiawa at 6 p.m., heard the call about the fight in Mililani shortly before 9:20 p.m., Kajiyama said at a news conference yesterday.

He was southbound on H-2 when the 2000 Dodge Durango he was driving veered off the left shoulder near the Leilehua Golf Course, then cut back across both lanes of traffic and struck a concrete barrier, police said.

The sport utility vehicle flipped several times. Veal was ejected and died at the scene.

Kajiyama would not say whether Veal had been using his seat belt, saying that was part of the investigation.

Investigators said speed may have been a factor in Veal's accident. Also, Kajiyama said Veal was traveling with his blue lights on, but he was uncertain whether the officer was using his siren.

Another police officer who was also Mililani-bound on H-2 came upon Veal a few moments after the accident, Kajiyama said.

The acting chief said officers who made it to Mililani to investigate the fight found no sign of the 10 to 15 people who had been reported brawling. Kajiyama

said he did not know the address of the reported fight, or if Veal had been dispatched or had decided to respond after hearing a radio call to back up other officers.

HPD officers killed in line of duty

Honolulu police officers who have died in the line of duty since 1990:

• OCT. 20, 1990: Roy E. Thurman, killed while riding his motorcycle when he attempted to avoid a vehicle that had pulled out in front of him.

• AUG. 28, 1991: Randal N. Young, killed by a drunken driver who struck him while he was giving a ticket to another motorist on Pali Highway.

• JULY 21, 1995: Bryant Bayne and Tate Kahakai, killed, along with a fire department pilot, in a helicopter crash on Windward O'ahu during a search for a missing hiker.

• APRIL 30, 2001: Dannygriggs Padayao, hit by a suspected drunken driver while laying down flares at the scene of a two-car collision along Kamehameha Highway.

• MARCH 4, 2003: Glen A. Gaspar, shot at Kapolei Shopping Center while trying to arrest Shane Mark in connection with a Feb. 1 shooting in 'Aiea.

• JULY 23, 2003: Ryan K. Goto, killed when a car hit a formation of five motorcycle patrol officers near Honokai Hale.

Veal had been assigned as a patrol officer to the Wahiawa police district since 1999, Kajiyama said. Before that, he had worked as a vehicular homicide investigator, as a motorcycle officer, and as a patrol officer in two other districts.

Michelle Yu, police spokeswoman, said Veal had been in the Navy before joining the department.

Veal was particularly good at traffic enforcement, Kajiyama said, and dedicated himself as a patrol officer to keeping the community safe.

"He was really in his element," Kajiyama said. "He really just wanted to help people."

Kajiyama said Veal's personnel file was filled with thank-you letters from stranded motorists and crime victims he had helped. The letters described him as kind, caring and sincere.

When contacted at their home in 'Aiea, Veal's family members said they were not prepared to comment on his death.

"The family will have our HPD 'ohana behind them," Kajiyama said. "Our sympathies and condolences go out to them in their sudden and tragic loss."

Including Veal, 39 Honolulu police officers have been killed while on duty. The last was motorcycle officer Ryan Goto, who was killed in a traffic accident on July 23, 2003.

Staff writer David Waite contributed to this report. Reach Karen Blakeman at 535-2430 or kblakeman@honoluluadvertiser.com.