Marveling at the force of Mother Nature can sometimes come with unexpected consequences. California native, Darryl Clinton, learned this in the most horrifying way while watching the lava flow from Hawaii’s Kilauea eruption.
Darryl CLINTON was hit by a "Lava Bomb" in Hawaii. How does a man defend his home from a Volcano? That's the headline on AC360° right now.— Baal Adrian (@AdrianBaal) May 24, 2018
Clinton was standing on the roof of a home he was helping evacuate when a burst of lava shot up and struck his leg. The molten liquid hit him from his shin to his foot, shattering it beneath the incredible force and heat. Miraculously, not only did Clinton survive, but doctors at the Hilo Medical Center were able to save his leg.
“My leg was in half, my bone was sticking out,” Clinton describes the incident to KHON in the first interview since the injury. “There was blood squirting out.”
According to a GoFundMe page created for him, the single father of two had been forced to evacuate his home on Pohoiki road in response to the eruption from the newly formed fissure 17. After evacuating, he lent a hand to a nearby friend and was helping put out fires when he was struck by the lava.
"Then I got caught on fire, fell on the floor, grabbed my foot and leg and held 'em together," he explains.
A spokesperson for the Hawaii County Mayor’s Office explained to Reuters the weight of lava splatter, stating it “can weigh as much as a refrigerator.” Clinton confirms this, stating it was “the most forceful impact I’ve ever had on my body in my life.”
Keeping in high spirits, the California man called witnessing the eruption the “event of a lifetime” and described that “every aspect of the lava was there. The sounds, the sites, the flowing lava, the fissures. It was all happening at one time.”The Kilauea eruption has been ongoing since 1983, but in early may, a series of earthquakes rumbled along the volcano’s East rift zone. On May 3rd, the ground in Leilani Estates opened up and dispersed a new flow of lava. The flow from the new fissures reached the Pacific Ocean on May 21st, but not before displacing residents of Leilani Estates and other parts of the Puna District.
I was with Darryl Clinton in the lava bombing zone for 20 minutes. It was terrifying. Imagine spending almost a whole week there around the clock. Yes, he almost died, but to his credit, the homes he was defending are still standing. So nice to hear him still in good spirits. https://t.co/nW4zuOR2cX— Scott McLean (@scottmclean) May 24, 2018