Fatal Fall Could Have Been Prevented, Say Neighbors - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Fatal Fall Could Have Been Prevented, Say Neighbors

Casey Church, victim's friend Casey Church, victim's friend
The body removed from Launani Valley on Thursday. The body removed from Launani Valley on Thursday.
Neighborhood homeowner says, "If he can't see us, then he's too far." Neighborhood homeowner says, "If he can't see us, then he's too far."

by Stephen Florino

MILILANI MAUKA (KHNL) - Friends say the death of a 15-year old boy could have been prevented.

Robert J. Hartsock died after falling more than 80-feet down a steep cliffside in Mililani Mauka Thursday afternoon.

"Everything could've been avoided with a fence," said Casey Church, a close family friend.

Church says his son was among the boys who was playing on the hillside above Launani Valley. The top of the cliff is behind new homes on Kelakela Street.

"What I'm concerned is they have these beautiful, $800,000 homes, why can't they build a fence to keep these kids off this ravine," said Church.

There is no fence blocking people from going down the hillside. There are no signs there warning of the steep drop.

The homes in the area are just being finished, and families are slowly moving in. Those who live nearby feel a fence should be put up, because of all the children who play there.

"We really didn't realize it can be that dangerous around here cause these houses were built all the time and all kids always play around here," said one homeowner.

He says he has strict rules for his son.

"He just sticks around the cul de sac," he said. "If he can't see us, then he's too far."

Developer Castle and Cooke isn't sure who is responsible for the hillside, but it is looking into it.

"Whether that's state property or whosever it is, somebody needs to do something about a fence to keep the children out of there," said Church.

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