Injured man, 5 others cited for trespassing in Hawaii park

Man who received minor injuries during rockfall in Hawaii state park among five people cited for trespassing

HONOLULU -- A man injured during a rockfall in a Hawaii state park was among five people cited for trespassing, officials said.

State officials cited Lincoln Hittner of Honolulu on Tuesday for trespassing in a closed park, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Thursday.

Hittner was treated for minor injuries by Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement officers in Sacred Falls State Park, officials said.

Hittner described his near miss with the rockfall as "15 seconds of terror," officials said.

He was among a group of six that included Hawaii residents and a visiting Australian who all received citations, authorities said.

Sacred Falls park has been closed and warning signs posted since a 1999 accident left eight people dead and dozens hurt, officials said.

"When people enter closed areas such as Sacred Falls they expose themselves to flash floods, rockfalls, or slip and fall injuries along cliffs and unmanaged rough terrain — incidents that are potentially fatal," said Curt Cottrell, a state parks administrator.

The state has extensively publicized the dangers of entering closed areas, including a video about Sacred Falls, according to the Department of Land and Natural Resources.

As of May, the video has been viewed 657 times, officials said.

"This reckless behavior is a personal choice versus accidental injuries in managed recreational areas, and egregiously risks our first responders and enforcement officers' safety," Cottrell said.


Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser,