Society

Female Hiker, 22, Falls 200 Feet To Her Death In Hawaii

| by Kathryn Schroeder

A female hiker in Hawaii fell 200 feet to her death from the Crouching Lion trail on the island of Oahu.

Kaisha Chu, a 22-year-old graduate student at Seattle University, was home for the holidays when she went hiking with two others on what a trail hiking expert refers to as treacherous, WDAM reports.

"It's a really premiere trail on the island," Ralph Valentino, hiking coordinator with Hawaiian Trail and Mountain Club, said. "It is an advanced trail. So it does have its dangers and those are basically the drop off, hiking some exposed faces."

Kaisha fell 200 feet and rescuers had to rappel down to her, where they found her without a pulse. After being airlifted to a landing zone in Kaaawa, she was pronounced dead.

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Described as outgoing, athletic and everyone’s best friend, Kaisha died of blunt force injuries to the head, neck, torso and lower extremities, according to the medical examiner’s office.

​Valentino said that signs are posted on the trail that say: "Area Closed! Do not go beyond this sign.”

Marcus Griego of 808 Caveman Hiking Group said he is surprised more injuries don’t happen on the trail, according to KHON.

“It’s crazy," he said. "I see people doing crazy stuff all the time. These guys or gals are not properly equipped. I’m amazed that more people haven’t fallen with what these people are doing. It’s very crumbly and what people are doing is crazy. If you grab a wrong hold you could fall off.”

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Kaisha’s mother, Cindy Chu, was on the mainland when she heard of her daughter’s death.

"She was my life," Cindy said, according to WDAM. "She was my baby and she will always be … I don't know what we're gonna do without her."

Kaisha was a soccer star while in high school and as a student at Hawaii Pacific University. She graduated from HPU in May, and had just started her graduate program in criminal justice at Seattle University.

“Our Hawaii Pacific University ohana was deeply saddened to hear of the loss of Kaisha Chu, an HPU alumna who graduated in May 2016," Vince Baldemor, HPU executive director of athletics, said in a statement. "During her time here, Kaisha was a beloved student and valued team player on our HPU Women’s Soccer Team. Our heartfelt condolences are with the Chu family during this difficult time."

Alex Hoang, a longtime friend of Kaisha, is having a difficult time with her passing, according to KHON.

“She was an amazing athlete at her time at school," he said. "She was a very loving person. She’ll do more for you than you could ever do for her. She is a thrill-seeker. She’s adventurous. She loves having grown up here in Hawaii. She loves what Hawaii has to offer and she took every advantage of it.”

Kaisha's childhood soccer coach Rod Fujimoto said she was "well respected," according to WDAM.

"She was an exciting person," he said. "She was always happy, happy go lucky. Well respected. She respected the coaches, the team. She was an excellent child."

Cindy takes comfort in knowing that her daughter touched so many lives.

"I always try to end our conversations with telling them I love them and they always tell me they love me," she said. "So I don't have any regrets because I know she knew how much she was loved."

Hoang plans to give Cindy love and support during this difficult time.

“When I see Aunty Cindy, I’m going to go up to her and hug her, and tell her I love her, and that I’m sorry for what’s happened,” he said. “I don’t have to say much, because she knows how I feel. She knows what she meant to me and what I meant to her and her family, so really a hug would just do it for us.”

Sources: WDAM, KHON / Photo credit: Cindy Chu via WDAM

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