The death of former Hawaii State Department of Health Director Loretta Fuddy has been ruled “accidental” due to cardiac arrhythmia, likely due to the stress of the situation.
The Cessna Caravan operated by Makani Kai had just lifted off from Kalaupapa airport on December 11, 2013, when the pilot experienced “catastrophic engine failure.” The plane was able to ditch in the sea about a mile off shore and the craft was intact. All nine on board were able to escape before the plane sank. At some point during that hour between 3:30 and 4:30 p.m., Ms. Fuddy succumbed to stress, essentially suffering a heart attack.
Fuddy has been succeeded in the DOH by former Environmental Director, Gary Gill. No one else involved in the crash was seriously hurt.