Whitney and Russell were engaged on Kauai, one of the Hawaii islands, and decided that they should celebrate also their nuptials there. But the couple of Salt Lake City, Utah, never thought their honeymoon would turn into such a nightmare.
They were married in their hometown and arrived on Kauai a day later for a weeklong vacation. But a few days later Russell, 23, is recuperating at Castle Medical Center with cuts and bruises caused by a landslide at Sacred Falls. His wife, Whitney, 21, has a cast encompassing her right foot from her toes to her knee following surgery on a severely cut Achilles' tendonsurgery on a severely cut Achilles' tendon.
"It was the scariest moment in my life," Russell said. "I just can't believe it happened. You never believe it can happen to you. They said Sacred Falls is a state park, and so I thought it was safe."
The couple spent part of the morning walking the 1.2 miles from the trail head to the falls. They had just finished swimming in the pool and were sitting on rocks to dry off. "That's when the boulders started falling." Russell said he raised his left arm to try to protect himself from the falling rocks and debris. "That's when I thought I injured my arm." He said his wife is still "pretty shook up" but glad that she is alive.
This was Russell's third visit to the islands and his wife's fourth. "We'll come back," he said, "and we'll continue to come back. But I don't think we will ever go back to Sacred Falls."
Story by Gregg K. Kakesako