A 14-year-old boy died after hiking with his stepfather and brother in extreme heat at Big Bend National Park in Texas on Friday. The stepfather died in a car crash after he hiked back to their vehicle to seek help, officials said.
The park’s communications center received a call at around 6 p.m. local time requesting emergency assistance along the Marufo Vega Trail, park officials said in a news release Saturday.
“Temperatures at the time were 119 (degrees),” park officials said in the release.
The 14-year-old boy fell ill along the trail and lost consciousness, park officials said. His stepfather, 31, hiked back to their vehicle to find help while the brother, 21, tried to carry his brother back to the trailhead.
“A team of Park Rangers and U.S. Border Patrol Agents reached the scene at approximately 7:30 p.m. and located the young victim deceased along the trail,” park officials said. “A search was then initiated for the father.”
Stepfather crashed while looking for help
Park officials said the stepfather’s vehicle was found over the embankment at the Boquillas Overlook at about 8 p.m. local time. He was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, park officials said.
“The Marufo Vega Trail winds through extremely rugged desert and rocky cliffs within the hottest part of Big Bend National Park,” park officials said. “No shade or water makes this strenuous trail dangerous to attempt in the heat of summer.”
Big Bend is experiencing extreme heat with highs reaching 110-119 degrees at low elevations and along the Rio Grande, park officials said.
The incident is under investigation and no further details were given, including the names of the two victims.