Death of Goodyear Boy Scout who collapsed during hike ruled accidental
PHOENIX – The death of a West Valley Boy Scout who collapsed while hiking in central Arizona last month was ruled accidental, according to an autopsy report released this week.
The Pinal County Medical Examiner’s report said 16-year-old Joshua Michael White died from dehydration and overheating.
The report said the boy reportedly drank 2 quarts of water while climbing up Picacho Peak and another 2 quarts on the way down during a six-hour hike on April 27, a day temperatures reached 96 degrees.
White’s fellow hikers called 911 after he collapsed, but the teen was unconscious when a park ranger arrived, sheriff’s deputies said. They said paramedics also evaluated two adults and one child for exhaustion, but they did not need to go to a hospital.
Earlier this month, officials said they didn’t expect to file a criminal case.
White’s family said in a statement released through the Boy Scouts a week after his death that he loved scouting and that he and fellow scouts and their leaders were experienced hikers “fully prepared” for their planned activities.
An online obituary said White, who was 6 feet tall weighed 289 pounds, according to the autopsy report, was a member of the junior varsity football team at Estrella Foothills High School in Goodyear.
Picacho Peak State Park is located off Interstate 10 about 75 miles southeast of downtown Phoenix. It features a variety of hiking trails through desert terrain.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.