Chula Vista 12-year-old falls off cliff to his death in Maui
A Chula Vista eighth-grader died Sunday after he fell off a cliff during a family sightseeing trip in Maui, according to several news reports.
Cristian Lopez, a 12-year-old at Chula Vista Middle School, was traveling with his family when they parked their rental car at a cliff along Honomanu Bay, according to the U-T San Diego newspaper. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports that the boy ran toward the dirt hill at the lookout and his mother left the car to call after him, but he continued running and disappeared over the cliff’s edge.
The Star-Advertiser said the boy fell between 300 and 350 feet. Police and fire personnel retrieved him from the ocean and took him to the Maui Memorial Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead with “massive head trauma.”
Fire Services Chief Lee Mainaga told the U-T that the cliff is a popular tourist spot but is not considered an official scenic lookout and does not have a railing.
Chula Vista Middle School Principal Viky Mitrovich called Cristian an “excellent student and very well liked by all of his teachers” in an interview with the U-T. She told the paper that Cristian had been learning guitar and had performed for the first time at an end-of-year concert.
-- Matt Stevens