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.”
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.