Man and stepson die after hiking in Big Bend National Park in 119-degree heat


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 hit 119 degrees, according to the news release.

“The Marufo Vega Road winds through extremely rugged desert and rocky cliffs in the hottest part of Big Bend National Park. With no shade or water, this grueling trail is dangerous to attempt in the summer heat. 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, a 14-year-old, became ill along the trail and passed out,” park service officials said.

The 31-year-old stepfather then left the scene to return to their vehicle to find help, while the other brother, 21, tried to get his brother back to the trailhead, according to the communique.

The Big Bend National Park Communications Center received a call requesting emergency assistance around 6 p.m., the park service said. “Park Rangers and US Border Patrol agents arrived on scene at approximately 7:30 p.m. and located the deceased juvenile victim along the trail,” officials said.

Authorities then began searching for the stepfather. Around 8:00 p.m., they found his vehicle, which had crashed onto a terrace at the Boquillas Overlook, the news release said.

The 31-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. No further details about the 21-year-old or his condition were released.

The incident remains under investigation, officials said.

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