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Worker in fatal zipline fall on Maui wasn't using safety harness

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 4:53 p.m. HST, May 6, 2014

Maui police said the Piiholo Ranch Zipline worker who died last week after a 150-foot fall was not secured to the landing platform with a safety harness.

Patricia Rabellizsa, 29, was working on the platform Thursday morning when a customer, or zipliner, entered the platform at a high rate of speed, according to a police summary released Tuesday. The zipliner struck the springs at the end of the line and went back down the line.

Rabellizsa, of Kihei, apparently grabbed onto the zipliner in an attempt to prevent the guest from going back on the line, police said.

Rabellizsa was hanging onto the zipliner as they both went back on the line. Rabellizsa was able to hang onto the zipliner for a few minutes until she lost her grip and fell into the gulch below, police said.

State Rep. Angus McKelvey said Monday that he understood that Rabellizsa was required to wear a harness and did not have a harness on when she fell. McKelvey said he is planning to introduce a bill and hold legislative hearings about zipline worker safety issues.

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