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Visitor fractures leg while violating stay-at-home order on Big Isle

A male visitor suffered a fractured leg while hiking with a large group of people in Waipio Valley on Hawaii Island Sunday.

The Hawaii County Fire Department reported the adult visitor violated the stay-at-home order, visitor quarantine and social distancing requirements at the time he sustained the leg injury.

Firefighters responded to a call of an injured hiker in Waipio Valley near Hi’ilawe Falls just before 5:40 p.m. Sunday. The fire department said the man was walking along the river toward the rear of the valley when a dead tree or log he was walking on gave way.

The hiker’s friends attempted to help him head back to their vehicle and realized they were running out of daylight. His friends asked bystanders to head out to an area to get cell phone reception and call 911.

Meanwhile, the hiker’s friends carried him as they attempted to walk back to their vehicle but uneven terrain hindered their efforts.

When firefighters arrived, initial search efforts to find the hiker were unsuccessful. Battalion Chief Matthias Kusch said most of the valley floor is obscured by a dense tree canopy covering.

As dusk fell, a rescue helicopter conducting a search located the injured hiker.

With a Billy Pugh net, fire rescue crews aboard the helicopter hoisted the injured man out of the valley to a staging area where another helicopter transported him to a North Hawaii medical facility for treatment.

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