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Hiker who died after falling from Palolo trail ID'd

By Star-Advertiser staff

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 02:50 a.m. HST, Oct 09, 2013



The Medical Examiner's office has identified the 23-year-old woman who died after falling 30 to 35 feet into a waterfall pool at the Kaau Crater Trail in Palolo as Kaitlan Prugger, a University of Hawaii graduate student.

The victim died of cranial cerebral injuries due to a fall, according to the autopsy report. The death is classified as accidental.

According to a Honolulu Fire Department report, Prugger was hiking with two other hikers above the first waterfall on the trail on Oct. 5. Prugger was trying to get a picture looking down the falls and apparently lost her footing and fell into the pool, fire officials reported.

Her death was reported Monday on the website "Crossfit Fringe," a gym in Columbia, Mo., where she went to college, noting: "If you knew her, the idea of those being her final moments are in a weird way somewhat comforting, at least to me. She was in her element, always on an adventure -- seeking out moments and places to rival her immense passion for life."

Prugger's Facebook profile said she became a UH graduate student researcher in July. Previously, she worked as a coach at Crossfit South Miami in Florida, from January to April. Prugger graduated from the University of Missouri in 2012 with a degree in chemistry.






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