Florida man and stepson die after hiking in extreme heat in Big Bend park in Texas

Jun 25, 2023, 9:10 AM

BIG BEND NATIONAL PARK, Texas (AP) — A Florida man and his 14-year-old stepson died after hiking in extreme heat at Big Bend National Park in West Texas, according to officials.

The 31-year-old man had been hiking the Marufo Vega Trail on Friday with his two stepsons, ages 14 and 21.

Temperatures at the time were 119 degrees Fahrenheit (48 degrees Celsius), according to the National Park Service. The park, like other parts of Texas, are experiencing extreme heat with daily high temperatures ranging from 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43 degrees Celsius) to 119 degrees Fahrenheit.

The 14-year-old became sick during the hike and lost consciousness.

His stepfather hiked back to his vehicle while the boy’s older brother tried to carry him back to the trailhead, according to the park service.

Authorities were first alerted about the emergency at 6 p.m. CDT on Friday. A team of park rangers and U.S. Border Patrol agents reached the scene at 7:30 p.m. and found the 14-year-old had died.

Authorities began looking for the father and at 8 p.m. they found that his vehicle had crashed over an embankment at Boquillas Overlook. The man was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, the park service said.

The names of the two victims were not immediately released by authorities, and the causes of their deaths was not immediately known.

“The Marufo Vega Trail winds through extremely rugged desert and rocky cliffs within the hottest part of Big Bend National Park. No shade or water makes this strenuous trail dangerous to attempt in the heat of summer,” the park service said in a news release.

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Florida man and stepson die after hiking in extreme heat in Big Bend park in Texas