Long recovery ahead for Maui teen after leg crushed by massive boulder

A Maui teen is lucky to be alive.

A massive boulder fell on him last month at a popular spot for cliff jumping.

The teen was severely injured and nearly lost his leg. Now he's warning others to be careful.

This picture was taken moments before 16-year-old Malakai Baldwin nearly lost his life.

Malakai told KHON2 he was climbing up the rocks to jump off Dragon's Teeth, something he's done several times before, when the unthinkable happened.

"I was just climbing up and I felt it just break off and I knew I was falling and I could see it in front of me and I knew it was going to land on me or something bad," he said.

A large boulder came crashing down and landed on Malakai's leg, nearly crushing him.

"I just looked at my leg and it was gashed open and it was bent at like a 45 degree angle. There was a lot of throbbing and there was a lot of shock so it didn't really hurt that bad," Malakai said. "There were like five of my friends with me and they were just comforting me and stuff."

The teen was air lifted to Maui Memorial where he was rushed into emergency surgery.

His injuries were gruesome. X-rays show where the boulder broke his leg but luckily, doctors were able to save it.

Malakai is a member of the track team at his school but his future depends on his recovery. We're told he faces a long road of intensive physical therapy.

His family is urging those who visit the popular spot to be cautious.

"When you get comfortable with an area, it doesn't seem unsafe," Jeremy Baldwin, Malakai's father, said. "Something could break loose and that could be the end of your life right there if it lands on your head or body, you're dead."

Malakai has had two surgeries so far, one that lasted more than four hours.

If no other complications arise, he's expected to make a full recovery in about eight months.

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