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Tristin Manuel

September 15, 2020


My name is tristin, fourth generation Kailua resident and I live 2 homes away from the April helicopter crash that killed 3 passengers on Oneawa. It landed in my neighbors driveway.
I still remember that day like yesterday. I just took Medical Leave due to my pregnancy, and was watching my 3 year old. So I was home from work. There was a loud bang, (helicopter explosion in air) that shook my house. I yelled out “are you ok?” Toward my moms house-she said “yes, it’s not me”…then seconds later a LARGER BANG(helicopter hitting ground) this shook my house and the ground shook. At this point we heard screaming, my neighbor screaming” call 911!!!”call 911!! Get me towels and a blanket!!! Hurry!!
I saw my mom rush out to investigate, and another neighbor( retired Svs) was passing he shouted “Helicopter! 3 people, a man and woman, I don’t know the other it has no head”!
Moments later my husband (who works in Kailua) calls asking if I’m alright he sees ambulance fire police racing toward our street. I told him it was a helicopter and I was shaking & crying.
I still have nightmares about that day, I wake up screaming and crying that it crashed on my house killing US. I cried that day of the crash, sad for those people, but also thinking, if he crashed just a few FEET to the left, me, my 3 year old, my teenager, and my mom would be dead. And my 2 children at school wouldn’t know why I’m not there to pick them up from school. My husband wouldn’t know that we were all dead.

Every time I hear a helicopter over our home or ANYWHERE I get heart palpitations and I rush out or watch it til it leaves.

I would be in support of a ban on helicopters flying over residential neighborhoods, even military but of course no one has a say in that. The other day, during lockdown I set up a pool for my baby’s and a military helicopter circled over my home. It was so low I could see the pilots face, he was waving at us. I stood up and sternly point Maka( toward the sea)!!Over and over again and he flew away. Crazy. I was so scared he’d fall on us. Just having that big metal object over us and we have no where to retreat, scares me now. It has literally changed me.

Thank you for taking a moment to hear my story

Post Author: HANSTF