Former DJ, entertainer dies while hiking 'Stairway to Heaven'

Former DJ, entertainer dies while hiking 'Stairway to Heaven'
Published: Aug. 5, 2012 at 5:38 PM HST|Updated: Aug. 6, 2012 at 12:09 PM HST
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KANEOHE, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A man identified by friends as a former island disc jockey and entertainer died of an apparent internal injury while hiking the Haiku Stairs, commonly known as Stairway to Heaven, early Sunday morning.

Friends identified the man as 62-year-old Fritz Hasenpusch, who was best known as a singer in the music group "Schnazz" in the 1970s. Hasenpusch was reportedly in the islands to record an album with Don Tiki.

Hasenpusch was hiking with two other people when authorities said he either had a stroke or went into cardiac arrest while he was near the first landing of the stairs at about 4 a.m.

Friends administered CPR until fire crews arrived. Hasenpusch was pronounced dead a short time later.

A fire department helicopter had to wait until after sunrise to airlift his body from the trail.

"He was a truly unique personality, almost eccentric at times, but above all else, just a great singer," said longtime friend Dennis Christianson. "I think a lot of people have heard Fritz and don't even know it.  He was a really easy guy to be friends with. I know all of us, our heart really goes out to his family and to each other."

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