A pedestrian was walking along in Kaumakani, Hawaii, on Saturday evening when he was struck by a passing vehicle. The pedestrian was then struck a second time, this time by the police officer responding to the scene of the accident. Due to the injuries suffered by both collisions, the pedestrian died.
According to the Garden Island, a police dispatch was sent out around 9:33 p.m. on Saturday evening in Kaumakani, Hawaii.
The report stated that a pedestrian had been struck by an eastbound sedan on Kaumualii Highway, just east of the Kaumakani Post Office. The driver of the Corolla sedan stopped and stayed on the scene.
Of the first accident, the driver said the following of Kocher.
“He was alive and responsive.”
At the time, a Kauai police Department officer was traveling eastbound to respond to the situation and that was when it happened. The victim, 19-year-old Michael Kocher, Jr., was struck a second time, this time by the police officer’s vehicle.
The Free Thought Project reports that the police cruiser came into the scene with tires screeching and ran over Kocher. Medical emergency units responded to the scene and saw no vital signs, so Kocher was pronounced dead at the scene.
He was later pronounced formally dead by a doctor at the Wilcox Hospital.
Friends and family have spoken out on Kocher and said that he was a typical and normal teen who just liked to play video games and shoot basketball. Gabriel Banasihan, a friend of Kocher, spoke about his loss.
“He was a good person with a lot of potential. He enjoyed learning.”
The accident is said to not be something that was a cold-blooded killing by police, but it is still troublesome. Some are saying that it still showcases the fallibility of law enforcement and their “reckless attitude within their ranks.”
Another friend, Tim Oga of Hanapepe Heights, also spoke on the tragic loss of Kocher.
“He was a good boy. He had a lot of friends.”
There has been no word from the police yet on what type of charges will be brought against the driver of the Corolla that first struck the teen.
An autopsy of Michael Kocher Jr. is scheduled for later in the week.
As of now, the police officer involved in the accident in Kaumakani, Hawaii, has been placed on administrative leave. An internal investigation is ongoing and he will stay on leave until all is looked through and checked out.