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Hawaii responders treat colleague in fatal trail fall

Fire rescue crews transported the 28-year-old firefighter via helicopter and EMS later pronounced him dead

By Michael Tsai
The Honolulu Star-Advertiser

HONOLULU — An off-duty Honolulu firefighter died from a fall Friday while hiking the Mount Olomana trail in Kailua, authorities said.

The incident took place at about 12:15 p.m.

Honolulu Fire spokesman Capt. James Todd confirmed that the man, identified by police as being 28 years old, was a member of the Honolulu Fire Department.

Todd said the man was hiking about 100 feet away from the top of the third peak when he slipped off a rope and fell about 50 feet.

His female companion in her 20s witnessed him falling and used her cellphone to call for help, he said.

Two men who were hiking behind them said it was raining at the time the man was climbing, according to the Fire Department.

Fire rescue crews used a helicopter to lift the man and the three other hikers to Maunawili Valley Park.

Todd said the man was pronounced dead by city Emergency Medical Services personnel.

In 2011, 44-year-old Ryan Suenaga died after suffering a fall from the same approximate area between the second and third peaks of the Olomana trail.

HFD responds to dozens of hiking-related emergencies each month, few of which involve serious injury. Most hiking deaths occur as a result of a fall.

On June 22, 23-year-old Elizabeth Tarpey suffered fatal injuries when vegetation gave way beneath her and she fell off the Puu Manamana trail in Kaaawa.

A day later, 70-year-old Paul Yoon died after falling roughly 30 feet from the Kaluanui Ridge trail in Mariners Ridge.

On Oct. 5, 23-year-old Kaitlan Prugger died after falling about 30 feet to a waterfall pool along the Kaau Crater trail in Palolo.


(c)2014 The Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Distributed by MCT Information Services

McClatchy-Tribune News Service
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