Oklahoma woman dies in fall in national park

Sunday, October 21st 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

VOLCANO, Hawaii (AP) _ A 48-year-old woman from Tecumseh, Okla., fell to her death Saturday at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the island of Hawaii.

Park rangers found Regina P. Stabler dead on a rocky outcropping about 200 feet below the edge of the crater at the summit of Kilauea Volcano, Ranger Mardie Lane said.

Stabler, a commander with the U.S. Public Health Service, had been reported missing earlier in the day by her husband, Hollis, Lane said.

The Stablers were staying in the park at the Kilauea Military Camp, about a quarter-mile from the crater rim.

Camp firefighters and Hawaii County fire and rescue personnel had joined rangers in a search of the camp and surrounding area.

To get to the body, rangers were airlifted by county helicopter to the floor of the crater. They then had to climb 200 to 300 feet up a rocky slope to reach the body, which was airlifted to the park's heliport and then transported to Hilo Medical Center.

An autopsy was ordered, Lane said.

The death is being investigated by the National Park Service.

Kilauea, one of the world's most active volcanoes, has been erupting since 1983.

The eruption site is along the volcano's east rift zone, well away from the summit.