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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Maui hiker identified

Advertiser Staff

KIPAHULU, Maui A 25-year-old hiker who died Saturday after being crushed by a boulder in an East Maui stream has been identified as Matthew Boatitti.

Boatitti was with three friends about 3 p.m. when he tried to climb up the bank of Lelekea Stream and grabbed onto a boulder, pulling it loose, said Mark Tanaka-Sanders, chief ranger at Haleakala National Park's Kipahulu District.

Boatitti fell backward and the boulder, measuring 3 feet by 4 feet, rolled onto him and pinned him in the stream. While one of his companions held his head above water, the other two ran to their vehicle and drove a mile to Laulima Farm to get help. They returned with pry bars and tilted the rock off Boatitti's body, Tanaka-Sanders said.

Park ranger Janet McDaniel and other park staff and bystanders administered CPR, but the hiker was dead by the time a helicopter carried him to an ambulance on Hana Highway.

Tanaka-Sanders said Boatitti was originally from New Jersey. He had moved to Maui recently and was staying at Laulima Farm in Kipahulu.

The area where the accident happened is part of a parcel recently acquired by the park. Although it is open to the public, Tanaka-Sanders said the land has not been improved and there are no signs, trails, safety features or public accommodations.

"It's one of those kinds of places on Maui where you could get lost and, obviously, get hurt," he said.