Falling rocks kill 2 hikers on 2 isles

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Waterfall hikes proved deadly for two visitors who were hit by rocks in separate incidents Saturday.

On Oahu a 34-year-old Salt Lake City woman died while hiking along the Makaua Hidden Valley Trail, officials said. The women was six months pregnant, according to sources.

The Honolulu Medical Examiner’s Office said Sunday it wasn’t yet releasing the name of the woman, who was on the Kaaawa hike with her husband.

The Visitor Aloha Society of Hawaii has been assisting the woman’s husband, “and we’re going to continue to assist him for the next couple of days,” said President and CEO Jessica Lani Rich. Rich said a variety of support is being extended to the husband.

“Other family members are flying in, so we’re extending our aloha and support to them as well,” she said.

The Honolulu Fire Department responded to a 12:35 p.m. emergency call and dispatched five units, including HFD’s rescue helicopter, and 16 personnel who first arrived on the scene by 1:04 p.m.

The woman was found at 1:31 p.m. unconscious, with no pulse and not breathing, according to an HFD report.

She was airlifted to a landing zone established at Swanzy Beach Park, transferred to the care of Emergency Medical Services and later pronounced dead.

On Maui an Indiana man died when he was hit in the head by a large rock late Saturday near Waimoku Falls in Oheo Gulch, popularly known as Seven Sacred Pools, in the Kipahulu district of Haleakala National Park.

Fire crews and park rangers recovered the body of the man, 34, a resident of Fort Wayne, on Sunday morning, Maui County Fire Services Chief Edward Taomoto said by email.

The emergency call came in to dispatchers at 6:21 p.m. Saturday, Taomoto said.

The group of hikers included two men and two women, he said. One couple was from Wailuku.

On the way up Pipiwai Trail with the caller, the firefighters ran into the two women, who said their friend was not breathing and did not have a pulse despite CPR. They also said that rocks had continued to fall.

The crew decided it was unsafe to retrieve the victim at night with rocks still falling. The firefighters escorted the two women and man back to the park visitor center and left the scene at 9:45 p.m. Saturday.

Early Sunday they found the victim with “massive” head trauma at the base of the 200-foot waterfall. Crews placed the victim into a stretcher basket and took him via the department’s Air-1 helicopter to a landing zone near the park’s visitor center.


Source: 911 in the 808