Arizona man dies while hiking with 6-year-old son at Coconino National Forest campground

Jun 11, 2024, 2:00 PM

A view of a creek in the Wet Beaver Wilderness area of Coconino National Forest. An Arizona man die...

An Arizona man died June 9, 2024, while hiking with his son near a campground in the Wet Beaver Wilderness area of Coconino National Forest. (U.S. Forest Service Photo)

(U.S. Forest Service Photo)

PHOENIX – A 51-year-old Arizona man died Sunday while hiking with his 6-year-old son in Coconino National Forest, authorities said.

The boy told investigators his father fell backward into the water, couldn’t breathe and “wouldn’t get out,” according to a Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office announcement. The name of the victim was not released.

The incident occurred in the Lawrence Crossing campground area near Rimrock, which is about 20 miles south of Sedona and 100 miles north of downtown Phoenix. The campsite is within the Wet Beaver Wilderness area of Coconino National Forest.

Deputies responded to a call about a deceased man in the creek around 5:30 p.m. When they arrived, emergency medical technicians were already on the scene, along with the victim’s uncle.

The uncle, who lives in the area, said the father and son had driven up from Tucson to go camping.

“The uncle said that a short time after the victim left his house, he called to say he was lost. The uncle drove to Lawrence Crossing, saw the victim’s vehicle, and then walked down to the creek to find the victim face down in a few inches of water,” YCSO said in its announcement.

Local family members took care of the distressed child until he could be reunited with his mother.

An investigation into the incident is ongoing.

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Arizona man dies while hiking with 6-year-old son at Coconino National Forest campground