Two people died Friday after hiking in extreme heat at Big Bend National Park in southwest Texas, the National Park Service said in a news release.
A stepfather and his two stepsons from Florida were hiking the Marufo Vega Trail when temperatures were at 119 degrees, according to the news release.
“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. Big Bend is currently experiencing extreme heat with daily highs reaching 110-119 (degrees) at low elevations and along the Rio Grande,” according to the park service.
During the hike, “the youngest, age 14, fell ill along the trail and lost consciousness,” park service officials said.
The 31-year-old stepfather then left the scene to hike back to their vehicle to find help, while the other brother, 21, tried to carry his brother back to the trailhead, according to the release.
The Big Bend National Park’s Communications Center received a call requesting emergency assistance at about 6 p.m., the park service said. “Park Rangers and US Border Patrol Agents reached the scene at approximately 7:30 p.m. and located the young victim deceased along the trail,” officials said.
Authorities then began looking for the stepfather. At about 8 p.m. they found his vehicle, which had crashed over an embankment at the Boquillas Overlook, the news release said.
The 31-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. No further details were provided about the 21-year-old or his condition.
The incident remains under investigation, officials said.