RESERVE, N.M. (AP) – A California hiker who got lost in western New Mexico and was found by hunters died before rescuers could get him to safety, only four days after his father died while monitoring the search, a law enforcement official said Friday.
When hunters found Stephen Lockhart on Sunday, the 43-year-old Costa Mesa man was lying on the ground. He was conscious but incoherent and had a head wound, possibly from a fall, Catron County Undersheriff Ian Fletcher said.
The hunters went for help, but Lockhart died during the several hours that it took responders to hike into the remote site, Fletcher said.
Lockhart got separated from a friend Oct. 19 while hiking from a campsite to a lookout point, and a search began after he was reported missing the next day.
Lockhart’s 70-year-old father, Ray Lockhart, of Huntington Beach, Calif., fell ill and collapsed at the hikers’ camp Oct. 23 while searchers were looking for his son. The father received immediate attention from a state police officer and a paramedic with the search team, but he died in an ambulance en route to a hospital.
The air and ground search for Stephen Lockhart was suspended that evening, Fletcher said.
Fletcher said the area where the son was found has steep and rugged terrain, but he didn’t know whether there was any indication of how the man was hurt.
The cause of death will be determined by the state medical examiner’s office, Fletcher said, adding, “He did have some trauma consistent with a fall.”
Nighttime temperatures in the area dipped to between 20 and 30 degrees.
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