Motorcycle officer dies
|||Bush offers condolences to family of HPD officer|
By Rod Ohira
Advertiser Staff Writer
By Rod Ohira
A Honolulu Police Department officer was among loved ones yesterday when he died at The Queen's Medical Center, five days after being critically injured in a motorcycle crash while escorting President Bush's motorcade at Hickam Air Force Base.
Steve Favela, 30, an eight-year HPD officer described as a devoted husband, father and son, died at 11:15 a.m., leaving behind a wife and four young children, according to department spokesman Capt. Frank Fujii.
Dr. Irwin Sewake, Favela's dentist who made an online plea for blood donors to help the officer, said Favela enjoyed talking about his children.
"He was really dedicated to his kids and liked to be around them," Sewake said. "He was really a nice, a happy person who always had a smile."
Fujii said yesterday that Favela's wife, Barbara, and family expressed their gratitude and appreciation to the community for answering their call for blood donors and also for their prayers.
President Bush was among those expressing condolences to Favela's family.
Bush said in a statement that he and the first lady were "deeply saddened" by the death.
"Officer Favela risked his life every day to protect the people of his community," Bush said in the statement. "In this time of great sadness, we give thanks for his life of service."
Fujii said police officers across the state would place black bands across their badges in honor of Favela.
"When I received the phone call that Steve had passed away, quite frankly my heart just sank to the guts of my stomach," Fujii said.
Favela, who joined the HPD eight years ago, served with the motorcyle unit for two years.
"My heart goes out, first and foremost, to Steve that he's in good hands with God and we pray to fill the void for Barbara and the kids and, of course, his parents," said Tenari Maafala, president of the State of Hawai'i Organization of Police Officers.
"It's hard right now for all of us, but we're part of their extended family and want them to know we're there for them and love them."
Alex Garcia, SHOPO's Ho-nolulu chapter chairman, said: "We are all devastated by Steve's loss. We have all been praying for Steve's recovery but accept God's decision to return him to his kingdom. All of us at SHOPO, the entire Honolulu police family, and police officers throughout the state send our condolences and prayers to Steve's family."
Mayor Mufi Hannemann visited with the Favela family on Thanksgiving Day at Queen's.
"It saddened me greatly," the mayor said yesterday after learning of Favela's death. "I know everyone in Honolulu joins me in their heartfelt sympathy and in keeping the Favela family in their thoughts and prayers. Our thoughts and our prayers continue to go out to Barbara and the four young children."
Hannemann said he was told by Police Chief Boisse Correa yesterday that Favela had been on life support.
There was an outpouring of community support when the call went out for blood donors for Favela. At a news conference in front of The Queen's Medical Center on Friday, Favela's wife said the support from the public had been "tremendous."
Favela, riding a BMW motorcycle, was injured Tuesday while escorting the presidential motorcade at Hickam on a rain-slicked road. He was one of three motorcycle officers who crashed near a bend along O'Malley Boulevard as the motercade left Hickam.
The other two officers were treated at a hospital and released.
Favela was taken to the hospital with internal injuries and doctors operated on him to control the bleeding. His massive loss of blood spurred his doctors to call for people to donate blood.
HPD is investigating the accident.
Favela is the 12th HPD motorcycle officer to be killed in the line of duty since 1923.Staff writer Suzanne Roig and the Associated Press contributed to this report.
Reach Rod Ohira at firstname.lastname@example.org.