A motorcyclist who was critically injured in an accident with a Honolulu
police officer back in 2014 will get $3 million after a settlement from
the city. Haibo “Bobby” Peng t-boned a police cruiser driven
by Officer Jeremy Newman, a 10-year veteran of the force. Officer Newman
made an improper U-turn on Kalakaua Avenue near Ala Wai Boulevard, resulting
in the wreck.
Mr. Peng who was represented by attorney Aaron Creps of Leavitt, Yamane
& Soldner, suffered a cracked skull, a serious brain injury, and multiple
broken bones in his spine. After the crash, Peng required shoulder surgery,
and still has to see a neurologist, orthopedist, and pain management doctor.
Ironically, Peng worked as a massage therapist before, but can no longer
return to his job because of the injuries.
Officer Newman told investigators that he made the improper U-turn because
he was going after a homeless man who was jaywalking, although there was
no evidence or witness statements that could confirm his story. Peng’s
attorney believes the officer was simply trying to avoid traffic.
"The evidence is he made that U-turn as a shortcut to get back to
the police station, and he was abusing the police powers that we give
him to keep us all safe, and saw himself as being above the law,"
said Peng’s attorney.
Although Officer Newman stated that he activated his siren and emergency
lights before the collision, surveillance video from a nearby building
showed the lights were not on during the illegal maneuver. This is important
because it shows that Officer Newman did not properly alert the public
of his maneuver.
HPD Chief Susan Ballard made a statement to
Hawaii News Now:
"While accidents can and do happen, officers are trained to avoid
maneuvers based on traffic conditions that may cause injury to someone
else. An investigation into the Waikiki collision showed that our officer
acted in error, causing serious and significant injury to a member of
the public. As a result, action was taken against the officer which included
driver retraining. The officer presently works in a non-patrol assignment.
An investigation ... showed that our officer acted in error, causing serious
and significant injury to a member of the public. As a result, action
was taken against the officer which included driver retraining."
If You Have Been Injured in an Accident, Contact Leavitt, Yamane & Soldner
At Leavitt, Yamane & Soldner, we provide compassionate legal services
to injured clients. Whatever your situation, we can help you file the
necessary documents, represent you in court, and help you recover compensation
for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Our
Honolulu motorcycle accident lawyers are ready to hold liable parties accountable.
Call (808) 518-2120 or contact us online
for a free consultation.