The National Park Service (NPS) revealed to FOX 35 News on Monday that the Florida father and his stepson, who perished last week while trekking in sweltering weather in a Texas national park, were from Orlando.
Authorities stated they were withholding their names at this time.
The younger stepson, 14, fell ill and was rendered unconscious as the stepfather, 31, and his two stepsons, ages 14 and 21, were hiking on the Marufo Vega Trail in Texas’ Big Bend National Park on Friday evening, June 23.
According to an NPS news release, the older brother tried to carry the 14-year-old back to the trailhead while the father fled to the car for assistance.
A Florida man and his stepson died Friday while hiking at the Big Bend National Park in Texas, according to officials.https://t.co/2a1YQLaMBs
— CBS 4 News (@cbs4rgv) June 25, 2023
According to officials, the three trekked at about 119 degrees then. Over the past few days, an intense heatwave has affected much of Texas.
Tom VandenBerg, a park ranger at Big Bend National Park, said, “It was the hottest time of the day, and it was so far the hottest day we’ve had this year. Very few people are in that park region at that time of day, and there is no cell service or anything like that. There is also no shade or anything similar.
According to Big Bend National Park officials, an urgent plea for assistance was received along the trail around 6 o’clock. At 7:30 p.m., Park Rangers and Border Patrol agents arrived along the route and discovered the teen dead.
According to officials, the father was missing for 30 minutes before his body was discovered inside the wrecked car at the Boquillas Overlook.
“The father, from what we can understand, was driving, as you could imagine, probably pretty stressed out and frantic to get help to his sons, and at some point, had a crash over an embankment,” said Vandenberg.
According to officials, the family’s route traverses “extremely rugged desert and rocky cliffs within the hot part” of the national park. At the time, the temperature was 119 degrees.
The NPS trail is hazardous to hike on in the summer heat because it has no water or shade.
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Dr. Corinne Bria, a pediatric emergency physician at Nemours Children’s Health, spoke with FOX 35 about heat-related illnesses and the risks associated with being outside in scorching weather.
Dr. Bria states, “Heat-related illness is dangerous because it’s very gradual and can sneak up on people, especially when you have adults, children, who are already from hot, tropical climates such as Florida.”
She explained that it takes seven to fourteen days to completely acclimatize to a different environment or a hot, humid, or hot and dry climate.
She recommended staying hydrated, allowing oneself time to adapt, and resting in the shade or air conditioning.