A procession of law enforcement vehicles Tuesday escorted the body of a Gardena motorcycle officer, who died last week of injuries suffered in a collision, from Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance to the county coroner’s office near downtown Los Angeles.
Funeral services for Officer Toshio Hirai, 34, will be held Nov. 30 at Green Hills Mortuary and Memorial Chapel, 27501 S. Western Ave., in Rancho Palos Verdes, according to Gardena police Lt. Steve Prendergast.
Hirai was on his way to work when he collided with a vehicle about 7:50 a.m. last Wednesday at Western Avenue and 238th Street in Harbor City. He died the following day at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, leaving behind a wife and 2-year-old son.
At a Friday night vigil in front of Gardena police headquarters, Hirai’s widow shared fond memories of her husband.
“Toshio had a really awesome sense of humor, it just was contagious,” Kristen Hirai said. “He had terrible chewing habits that irked me, but what I would not give for him to be chewing here today. I am so thankful. I haven’t been able to really reach out or respond to how much support I’ve been getting from all of you.”
Hirai was a 12-year veteran of the police department and a member of its SWAT team.
Donations to assist the officer’s family can be made by visiting ow.ly/OKzH30mDACi. Prendergast said it is the only legitimate online donation site for the fallen officer, his wife and their son.
Checks made payable to the Gardena Police Officers’ Association (GPOA) can be mailed to or dropped off at: Gardena Police Department, 1718 W. 162nd St., Gardena, California, 90247.
All donations are tax-deductible.
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