Update: Kaua’i first responders dealing with major crash, two hiker rescues simultaneously
March 17, 2023, 3:19 PM HST
* Updated March 17, 5:41 PM
Updated at 5:40 p.m. on March 17: Kaua‘i Fire Rescue crews have treated and airlifted the hiker injured in Waimea Canyon to a waiting ambulance. The patient is en route to Wilcox Hospital.
Two hikers that were reported injured on the Kalalau Trail were assessed by rescue crews and declined treatment and transport.
All emergency resources allocated to today’s incidents have cleared their respective scenes, and emergency coverage levels have returned to normal.
This is the last update that will be provided.
Updated at 3:30 p.m. on March 17: Highway 50 is now open in both directions, according to the County of Hawai’i. Traffic remains congested in the area.
First responders have completed the hiker rescue on Kalalau Trail, and now are focusing their efforts on the injured hiker in Waimea Canyon.
Original post: At about 2:20 p.m. today, Kaua’i Fire Department and American Medical Response paramedics were dispatched to multiple serious incidents, stretching emergency resources thin.
First, a major injury traffic accident occurred on Kaua’i’s Highway 50 near ʻŌmaʻo Road and the tree tunnel. Traffic is being diverted off the highway in both directions.
Preliminary information indicates a male involved in the accident has suffered a near-total leg amputation, according to radio communications.
Kauaʻi Fire Department first responders applied a tourniquet at the scene, and paramedics are transporting the patient to Wilcox Medical Center in Līhuʻe.
A few minutes later, Kaua’i’s Air 1 Helicopter and Fire Rescue Squad were dispatched to a hiker rescue on the Kalalau Trail near Hanakāpīʻai Beach. The condition of the injured hiker is unknown at this time.
And at about 2:21 p.m., firefighters from Station 7 in Hanapēpē were dispatched to Waimea Canyon Trailhead for a 63-year-old hiker with a broken leg. The hiker is located about a mile below the trailhead, according to radio communication.
Kaua’i’s remaining emergency resources have been repositioned to be ready to respond to all parts of the island.
Editorʻs Note: This is a breaking story. Updates will be provided as they become available.