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7 hikers cited at off-limits Sacred Falls Park

Firefighters were called when a woman hurt her leg

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 8:44 a.m. HST, Apr 22, 2012

After firefighters rescued a woman who hurt her leg while hiking at Sacred Falls State Park, state officials cited her and six hiking companions for illegally entering the closed park.

Department of Land and Natural Resources spokeswoman Deborah Ward said land officers cited four men and three women — including four military personnel — for illegally entering the park, which has been closed since Mother’s Day 1999, when eight people were killed and 50 others injured by a rockslide in the valley. 

The citations are petty misdemeanors, punishable by up to 30 days in jail.

Honolulu fire Capt. Terry Seelig said firefighters received a call about noon after the woman, who was hiking with three others, slipped and hurt her leg within 100 yards of the waterfall Saturday. Firefighters hiked in, prepared the woman for transport, and used a helicopter to pick her up and take her to a nearby park, where she was transferred to paramedics about 1:05 p.m.

In 2003, the state agreed to pay $8.56 million to the victims’ families, who said warning signs were inadequate at the park at the time of the rockfall.

More than 50,000 people a year once visited the falls, hiking the 2.2-mile trail that ascends a lush canyon and ends at a waterfall and swimming hole.

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