By Wendy Osher
Two visitors were airlifted in serious condition after the vehicle they were in drove off an embankment and about 250-feet down a gulch at Haleakalā National Park, authorities said.
The incident was reported at 7:42 a.m. on Tuesday, April 23, 2013, about a mile above the Visitors Center on Crater Road.
Authorities said the couple, who was visiting Maui from North Carolina, suffered serious injuries in the fall, and were being treated at Maui Memorial Medical Center at last report. Both patients were airlifted by the Maui Fire Department’s Air-1 helicopter to a landing zone at Hosmer’s Grove, officials said.
The female patient, who had lacerations to her arms and head, was then Medevaced to the hospital for further care; and the male patient, who suffered a laceration to his head and complained of rib pain, was transported via American Medical Response to the hospital, according to Maui Fire Services Chief Lee Mainaga.
When fire units arrived on scene, Mainaga said they found the couple in the care of two park rangers. He said the two were reportedly sitting on a vehicle, which was on its side.
In addition to rangers, medics, and air-rescue crews, personnel from the Maui Fire Department’s Engine-13 and Rescue-10 were dispatched to the scene to assist in the rescue.
Haleakalā Park spokesperson Pauline Angelakis, confirmed the incident and said the park maintained one open lane of travel in the vicinity of the accident, to allow for continued travel to and from the summit area during the rescue effort.