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Hikers still trespassing at Sacred Falls 20 years after tragedy

  • STAR-ADVERTISER / 1999

    Christine and Jack Johnson, parents of Sacred Falls rockfall victim Sara Johnson, place flowers at a memorial at the park entrance.

  • COURTESY STATE DEPARTMENT OF LAND AND NATURAL RESOURCES

    The falls shortly after the landslide in 1999, which killed eight people and hurt dozens of others. The park has been closed since the landslide, but state agents continue to chase down trespassers.

  • STAR-ADVERTISER / 1999

    Former Gov. Ben Cayetano said he believes future tragedies at Sacred Falls State Park could be prevented if hikers use common sense and heed warning signs. “There are risks to hiking and sightseeing and the government has an obligation to warn them,” Cayetano said. “If they still do it, it shouldn’t be the fault of the government. It is a tragedy that can be avoided.” Above, Cayetano, center, flanked by Tim Johns of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, left, and DLNR geologist Glenn Bauer discuss the deadly landslide.

It was 20 years ago today — on a picture perfect Mother’s Day — when boulders rained down from 50 feet above Sacred Falls State Park with the sound of a freight train, killing eight people and injuring about 50 more. Read more

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