Kihei resident Matt Karwal points to the path a falling rock took Wednesday afternoon in Iao Valley. Karwal estimated that the rock was about a foot in diameter.
The rock hit a pipe railing connected to the crowded bridge and then bounced down to the streambed. He said it hit with enough force to shake the entire bridge and create a loud bang. He estimated that the rock passed within 12 to 15 feet of people on the bridge. "I wasn't standing as close as other people were," Karwal said. "It shook the bridge. It was close enough to definitely hear it and feel it. I heard it coming through the trees. It sounded like a hiker was above us. You look up and this thing comes flying out. Gravity doing its thing." Karwal said the rock was big enough and moving fast enough to have seriously injured or killed a person if it had struck them.
Kihei resident Matt Karwal points to the path a falling rock took Wednesday afternoon in Iao Valley.
The Maui News MATTHEW THAYER photo