Local Connection: Sacred Falls Danger - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Local Connection: Sacred Falls Danger

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By: Rick Blangiardi

Close to 100 people have been cited for hiking Sacred Falls state park since 2012, the latest a man in his 20s who had to be airlifted out.

Citations are a slap on the wrist.  Entering a closed park is a petty misdemeanor and a first offense costs you $100. A second offense is $200 and third offense is $500. Administrative penalties can add thousands of dollars more but most who illegally hike sacred falls go undetected altogether.

There's a reason for the closure. In 1999, eight people were killed and 33 injured in a terrible mother's day rockfall. The state had to pay $8.56 million to the families of the victims who said warning signs were inadequate.

Overall 22 have been killed and many have been injured and rescued since 1970.

Hiking enthusiasts have insisted that the park be reopened and that those who venture onto the trails do so at their own risk.

To those we say: you're wrong.

It's not safe. If people want to be stupid and hike the trails, the state and its taxpayers should not be held liable.

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