Hauula, HI Landslide Kills Six, May 1999

Sacred Falls State Park Memorial Sign.jpg Sacred Falls.jpg Sacred Falls area where rock fall originated.jpg


Hauula, Hawaii -- A landslide sent tons of boulders crashing down a steep cliff onto hikers sunning themselves beneath one of Hawaii's most scenic waterfalls, killing at least six people.
More than 50 others were injured Sunday afternoon at Sacred Falls State Park on the northeast coast of the island of Oahu, and authorities expected to find more victims.
The bodies of a man, woman and a young girl were recovered by rescue crews, but night fell before the three other bodies could be extracated from the slide, officials said. None of the victims' identities were released.
"We believe there may be more fatalities," sand Mandy Shiraki of the city's Emergency Medical Services.
The park in lushly forested Koolau Range is about 30 miles north of Honolulu. The falls spill into a pool, reachable by a 3-mile hike, at the base of a 90-foot cliff.
"Probably about 50 feet from the base, a big chunk of the upper cliffs slid down on the base of the falls where all the people sit down and others are swimming," Honolulu Fire Chief Attilio Leonardi told television station KITV.
The pool, popular with tourists and locals, was crowded on a sunny, tropical Mother's Day.
"There were people in the water, there were people under the falls, there were people 50 feet from it that still got hurt," hiker Rodney Woodington told KITV.
Another hiker, Dr. Geoff Scott, of Anaheim, Calif., coordinated medical efforts at the scene.
"The first thing we did was we got the people we could help, we got them out of the fall zone," Scott told KITV. "And then after we did that, we triaged who was sickest and basically tried to support them until the Fire Department got there."
Tracey Murphy, 22, of Kunia, Hawaii, until recently a volunteer fireman in Houston, cut up towels from his pack and helped bind wounds. Murphy told The Honolulu Advertiser he walked out of the area carrying another hiker who had a broken arm and a missing finger.
List of the Casualties:
DONNA FORSCH, 38, Elk Grove, California.
SARAH JOHNSON, 24, Hayward, California.
DANIELLE WILLIAMS, 7, Hickam Air Force Base.
TERRI ZEREBESKI, 42, Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada.
AARON BANN, 31, Placentia, California.
SCOTT T. HULING, 36, Tennessee.
JENNIFER JOHNSON, 24, West Hills, California.
MARK JOHNSON, 29, West Hills, California.

Aiken Standard South Carolina 1999-05-10