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8-year-old girl killed by Maui rockfall is identified

By Rob Shikina

LAST UPDATED: 6:17 p.m. HST, Jun 1, 2011

The 8-year-old Lahaina girl killed by a rockfall at Haleakala National Park yesterday has been identified by a family friend today as Sophia Mae DeLoria.

DeLoria was a swimmer, ballet dancer and keyboardist, who had just graduated from the second-grade at King Kamehameha III Elementary School in Lahaina, said family friend Bob McDaniel.

"She was the light of the neighborhood," he said. 

The rockfall happened shortly before 1 p.m. at Waimoku Falls in Kipahulu as the family was leaving the base of the 400-foot waterfall.

Nav Singh, Haleakala National Park spokesman, said the 1.8-mile trail remained closed today during an investigation. The park is looking at possibly reopening the trail tomorrow.

Also closed because of the weather is the nearby Seven Sacred Pools, Singh added. Heavy showers and thunderstorms are predicted for the area.

Pipiwai Trail is located on the mauka side of Hana Highway 31 and increases 800 feet in elevation, passes the 184-foot water fall at Makahiku and ends at the base of Waimoku Falls.

About 550,000 people visit the Kipahulu area of the park each year, Singh said.

Park Superintendent Sarah Creachbaum said: "Our hearts go out to the family during this difficult time and we are grateful for the valuable support provided by our partners at Maui County police and fire rescue services."

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