Falling branch kills baby Kailua boy
A family hiking Maunawili Loop Trail suffers a fatal tragedy
Yesterday's strong, gusty winds might have contributed to the death of a 14-month-old Kailua girl* who died after a large tree branch fell on her and her father while they were hiking on the Maunawili Loop Trail in Kailua.
The strong winds affected all the islands, downing power lines and causing power failures on Oahu. In Waikiki, Sunset on the Beach was canceled because of the winds.
In the Kailua accident, police said the girl's father was carrying her on his back with some type of device. They were hiking with other family members on a trail on the Windward side of the Pali Tunnels. A large tree branch fell on them shortly before 11 a.m. Emergency Medical Services Field Operations Supervisor Wayne Kruse said the baby suffered a laceration to his scalp area and was unconscious. She was not breathing and had no pulse, Kruse said.
Paramedics attempted to resuscitate the baby without success. Fire rescue airlifted the girl to Castle Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead.
The baby's family members are devastated, said Sgt. Michael Kuroda, of the Kailua Police Station.
Police said the winds were a probable contributor in the girl's death. The baby's father suffered a laceration to his left arm from the fallen tree branch, Kuroda said.
Gusty winds of up to 33 to 38 mph battered Windward Oahu and the rest of the islands, according to forecaster Peter Donaldson of the National Weather Service. A wind advisory was issued to all islands until 1 p.m. today.
Forecasters predicted gusts of up to 30 mph, with frequent gusts exceeding 50 mph. Strong winds were more likely to occur "where winds accelerate downslope on the east side of the islands and where winds funnel through valleys and over ridges," forecasters said.
At 2:15 p.m. yesterday, blustering winds of up to 55 mph were reported at Mauna Kea, while winds of up to 48 mph were reported at Haleakala. Strong winds are predicted to dissipate later today.
Gusty winds caused power failures for hundreds of customers, mainly in Windward Oahu. More than 3,000 customers in Kailua and Kaneohe also experienced a power failure yesterday.
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
» A baby who died after a tree branch fell on her as she and her father were hiking along the Maunawili Trail Sunday was a girl. A story on Page A1 in yesterday's early edition incorrectly said the baby was a boy.