Hiking death hits home for man who recently survived dangerous f - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hiking death hits home for man who recently survived dangerous fall

Cesar Romero Cesar Romero
KAAAWA (HawaiiNewsNow) - Fifteen days after Cesar Romero fell from one of Oahu's most dangerous trails, he still walks with a limp.

"I'm just glad to be alive and have another chance to see another day and be able to be with my kids," said the Schofield soldier.

He and his friend were hiking on a trail on Oahu's windward side called Puu Manamana.  After they made it to the top, they started heading back down the mountain.

"So I went down first and I had put my bag down to help my other friend...and the bag fell all the way down to the ground, probably to like a thousand feet down," he said.

The 25-year-old said the bag had his car keys, his cell phone, and his friend's phone inside.  So he climbed down to get it.

"There was a rope probably like 30-feet long connected with a computer cable that was probably like another 15-20 feet...it was weird,” he said.

“And I started going down…and the last thing I remember was just the wire and the rope, it just snapped," he said.

Fire officials say Romero fell about 20 feet and then slid another 150 feet down the mountain side.  Romero said that's when he blacked out.

"I just remember seeing my life flash before my eyes," he said.

"I just dreamt me on the ground struggling to get up, not being able to talk.  I kept replaying myself falling over and over."

Romero broke his wrist, his nose, fractured a rib, his left eye was swollen shut, and he couldn't stand on his left leg.  He spent four days in the hospital and continues to go to physical therapy.

He said Sunday's news about the Navy sailor falling to his death while hiking the Pali Notches trail hit him especially hard.

"Just lucky…thank God to be alive and my heart goes out to his family and friends," Romero said.

Romero says he wants his story to serve as a reminder to other hikers to never get complacent on trails, always take a friend, and to take your time.

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