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Officer, Hurt While Protecting Bush, Dies

President Bush and first lady Laura Bush prepare to depart Honolulu, Hawaii, Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2006. (AP/Honolulu Advertiser, Bruce Asato)
AP/Honolulu Advertiser, Bruce Asato
A motorcycle officer injured last week while escorting President Bush in the islands died Sunday, police said.

Steve Favela, 30, and two other officers crashed their cycles as the presidential motorcade was traveling across Hickam Air Force Base to meet troops for breakfast early Tuesday. The other officers were treated at The Queen's Medical Center and released.

Favela, an eight-year veteran of the Honolulu Police Department and father of four, had suffered internal injuries and had been in critical condition at the medical center.

In a statement issued Sunday night, President Bush and first lady Laura Bush said they are "deeply saddened" by the death of the officer.

"Officer Favela died from injuries he suffered while protecting us during our visit to Hawaii," said the Bushes. "We send our condolences to his wife, Barbara, his entire family, and his fellow law enforcement officers. We pray that God will comfort them and that their friends and loved ones will sustain them in this difficult time."

"Officer Favela risked his life every day to protect the people of his community," the statement continues. "In this time of great sadness, we give thanks for his life of service."

Police Capt. Frank Fujii said police officers across the state will 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.

Light rain had been falling on the partly cloudy morning of the crash, and some roads on the base were slick.

Members of the White House medical team — including an ambulance —
were cut loose from the motorcade to help. Local ambulance and fire units also responded.

Mr. Bush had spent the night on the base on his way back from a trip to Indonesia and Vietnam.

In a separate incident, a fourth solo motorcycle officer crashed and injured his wrist when attempting a U-turn on loose gravel while escorting the president on Monday night. He was also treated and released.

Also during the president's 16-hour stopover, a White House staff member was hospitalized early Tuesday after being mugged by three assailants near Waikiki Beach.