Firefighters Who First Responded Called It A Hit-And-Run Crash
WAIKOLOA, Hawaii – 63-year-old biker Jeffrey C. Surnow of West Bloomfield, Michigan died early Sunday (March 1) from an apparent crash with a police car near the 11 mile marker on Waikoloa Road.
Police arrested one of their own, 30-year-old officer Jody Buddemeyer, who was on-duty at the time of crash. A police media release says Buddemeyer, who was assigned to the South Kohala District, reported the crash around 6:25 a.m. Police say the officer was driving in the same direction as Surnow, who was riding his bike in an eastbound direction.
Surnow was taken to North Kohala Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 10:25 a.m.
Fire crews issued a dispatch after responding to the scene, calling the incident a “hit-and-run”.
Police later issued a media release:
Traffic Enforcement Unit officers initiated a negligent homicide investigation and arrested the officer, 30-year-old Jody Buddemeyer, on suspicion of negligent homicide. He was later released pending further investigation.
The Office of Professional Standards will conduct an administrative investigation as is standard practice in any officer-involved fatality. The officer was placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.
Police ask anyone who witnessed the crash to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or Officer Christopher Kapua-Allison at 326-4646, extension 229.
Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the island wide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.Hawaii County Police media release on March 1, 2015