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Woman dies as car tumbles off Laie Point


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POSTED: Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Fire rescue personnel pulled a woman from a submerged car that had plunged off a cliff 20 feet into the ocean at Laie Point yesterday.

The woman later died, and police said last night that it appeared to be a suicide.

Fire Capt. Terry Seelig said rescue personnel had the woman out within 15 minutes of their arrival. They placed her on a sled, and ocean safety personnel brought the woman to a beach on the Kaneohe side of the point by watercraft.

A fire helicopter was also on scene but was not used.

The woman, described by witnesses as heavyset, was taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital where she was pronounced dead, said Emergency Services Department spokesman Bryan Cheplic.

The ambulance was called at about 4:03 p.m. to Naupaka Street.

Meanwhile, Fire Department divers checked for anyone else who might have been in the car or the water.

The submerged, white car was visible from the top of the cliff.

Jacob Fullmer, 19, who lives down the street, said, “;We just were diving off the rocks 20 minutes before it happened.”;

His brother, Joey, 32, said to him, “;You probably could have saved her.”;

Joey Fullmer speculated that the state will probably try to put a fence around the point, which probably would make fishermen unhappy.

Another witness, Choon James, 51, whose home sits above the area, watched as rescue personnel conducted their operations.

“;This is not the first time this has happened,”; she said.

Drunken men have driven over the cliff, she said, and some who have jumped off the cliff for fun have drowned.